|MAY POLE CELEBRATION
|COME JOIN THE FUN, HELP CELEBRATE SPRING !
Stories in the Schoolroom, Butter making in Kate's Kitchen
Colonial Games on the Lawn, Crafts and Candle Making
Make a gift for Mother's Day !
THE ORIGINS OF THE MAYPOLE DANCE
Maypole dancing is a form of folk dance from Germany, England
There are two forms. The first and most popular consists of
dancers that perform circle dances around a tall,
garland-festooned pole. In the second, dancers move in a circle,
each holding a colored ribbon attached to a much smaller pole.
As they move around the pole, the dancers intertwine their
ribbons either in a web around the pole or to plait it to the pole.
To unravel the ribbons, the dancers retrace their steps.
Historians believe the first maypole dance originated as part of
Germanic pagan fertility rituals. Originally, the dancers danced
around a living tree. While dancers usually perform this dance in
the spring on May 1 or May Day, those in Sweden perform it
during their midsummer celebrations.
The second kind of maypole dance, with origins in the 18th
Century, began as a traditional or artistic dance popular in Italy
and France. Eventually, traveling dancing troupes performed it
in London theaters, thus bringing this traditional dance to larger
audiences. An English teacher training school adopted the
maypole dance and soon it had spread across most of central
and southern England. The dance became part of the repertoire
of physical education for girls and remained popular in
elementary schools in both England and the United States well
into the 1950's.