|May 1, 2011|
May Day in Nelson
No one knows the true origin of the celebration of May Day. Some say it is as old as time itself. What we in Nelson and Munsonville know is that May Day is a day of casting off the cares of winter, and to enjoy the beautiful New England spring.
We come together on the Town Common, some to dance and others to visit with those we may have not seen since the first snowflake fell. The children are delighted with the bright colors of the May Pole ribbons, waiting their turn to help weave the ribbons when it’s time for the May Pole Dance. But first, we are treated to the trumpet sounding of Jack In the Green as he heralds the arrival of another beautiful Spring in Nelson.
The Jack In the Green Morris Men and the Harrisville Morris Women will be dancing. This old tradition from the British Isles has in recent decades been comfortably adapted on this side of the pond. In fact, last summer Jack in the Green went to England for several days to “show them” how Morris dancing is done now.
As for the May Pole with its tip top decorated with beautiful forsythia from local residents and bestrewn with colorful ribbons, this too, has regained favor in more recent memory.
The Nelson May Pole is set up in the middle of the Nelson Town Common. After the Morris dancing, the children gather to pick up the ribbons and wind their way around the pole, creating a rainbow of fascinating twists.
Twist and turn and under and over.
Weave your ribbon as you weave your wishes and dreams.
Perhaps, when the music stops, you will find a number under your feet.
If your number matches the one called, you win one of the many delicious cakes that have been prepared for the annual Cake Walk.
What a treat to take home and devour!