May Day traditionally, is steeped in history and celebrations go back before the middle ages, probably even before then.
Isn't the chap below a strapping young lad? He plays the melodion, which is like a miniature accordion, very well.
I was recently following the above group, Jack in the Green, together with a good few Morris Dancers, who had walked right across the city. They do this every year come rain or shine, on the first Saturday following May 1st. This year because my son, Sam was involved, I decided to go with them, though not the whole distance, as I thought it was too far for Millie to walk, though Amber did manage the complete route, being a bit older.
Here they are, my family, flowers in hair. Not Sam!
The tall Christmas tree like object that is moving in front of the procession is called a Jack! Anyone who gets too close to him has a dab of green daubed onto their nose! I got caught, as did most people!
Amber had borrowed another child's outfit for a while. She will have her own next year. A pity about her ear poking that I have only just noticed! Oh well, don't they say, never work with children or animals!
I was talking to a member of this group, who said that in early Victorian times, chimney sweeps were quite poor and it was against the law to beg or busk. On May Day, they coloured their faces green and dressed up and collected a lot of money through dancing, that helped them through hard times. Nobody recognized them, so that was how this particular group was started. You can see that the fiddler is dressed in a chimney sweep outfit, to carry on the tradition. You can read more about Jack in the Green here. There are so many legends attached to it and I have only scraped the surface.
When we had walked through a very busy main road and risked the Saturday traffic, which often ground to a halt because of us all, we eventually arrived in a lovely green park, where more dancing took place and then suddenly, the Jack was set upon and smashed up by all the bystanders and everyone rushed forward to take flowers and ivy off the framework. Fortunately, the group let the man who was operating the Jack, out first!