May pole Dance
It is almost impossible to think of May Day without thinking of a May pole and a May pole dance. Many of us did this as a child and remember the joy of weaving in and out and watching the ribbons become shorter forming a braid around the pole at the end (hopefully).
It is one of the popular symbols of the season and represents not only the fact that Spring is in full swing but the divine marriage of the Lord and Lady of the Greenwood, making this a time for romance as well.
The pole represents the male and is usually cut from a fir tree whose branches have been stripped. It is them raise upright with great flourish and much ado.
Whatever type of ribbons you use you will need an equal number and at least 2 separate colors, as this is for an equal number of males and females traditionally. They will need to be about 2 times as long as the May pole as the braiding takes up the length and at least 2 inches wide. The ribbons are attached to the top of the pole and crowned with a circlet of flowers, preferably made the morning of May day from fresh flowers.
As for the dance itself, there are usually 8 dancers for each sabbat paired into couple but this has gone by the wayside as the old tradition of the May pole dance have. It involves moving in a circle weaving in and out of the other dancers ie men would take one color on their left and women another color on their right, remember you will be going in opposite directions. Men begin by weaving under the upheld ribbon of the first woman. This is/was symbolic of the birth canal. The dance continues until the May pole is wrapped with the ribbons, they are tied off and the wreath is dropped.
Many dancers wear bells and make their steps a skip or little jog, whatever the music dictates and to celebrate happiness.
If done right , your May pole should begin to look like the photo on the right!!
Good luck and have a happy May Day!!