Dance your socks off this May Day!
Whether to commemorate International Worker’s Day, celebrate the start of summer or even just to make the most of a bank holiday, we’re all looking forward to May Day.
The day itself falls upon May 1st, a Sunday, even better that we have a bank holiday to rest our heads after all of the Morris dancing, frolicking around maypoles and (“just the one”) glass of May punch (you won’t be fooling anyone!). Read on to learn how to make the most of the May Day weekend, in true Henry J style!
The history of May Day
May day is an event widely celebrated across Europe. Its roots can be linked to medieval Christians and Pagan Anglo-Saxons as a festival to commemorate the beginning of springtime fertility. Maypole dancing has been a part of the celebrations since the middle ages.
Communities gather, to crown one lucky lady as the May Queen, and proceed to celebrate in a fete-styled fashion. Dancing around the maypole is a traditional part of May
-Day festivities, particularly in villages and small towns. It is seen as a way to bid farewell to the winter, and what better way to do so than with a glowing web of colour, accommodated by the laughter of ecstatic schoolchildren, you guessed it: A bold, beautiful pair of our socks!
Hmm what to do…
If you’re stuck on what to do on the day, why not take a trip out and find a local event? A popular place around May Day is the fishing town of Padstow, on the north coast of Cornwall.
Being the oldest May-Day celebration still taking place to this day, it is unsurprising to see over 30,000 attend the Padstow “’Obby ‘Oss” celebrations, with processions through the street, music and dancing! One of the prime attractions of the festival are the two famous Hobby Horses, the ‘Old Oss’ and the ‘Blue Ribbon Oss’.
These festivities are just a glimpse of the summer months ahead: bright, beautiful colours and snazzy socks! Find out more about Padstow festival.
The perfect tipple
For the perfect drink, take a page out of Finland’s book. Their traditional drink at this time of year is Sima, quite possibly the easiest homebrew you’ll ever make! Infused with sweet flavours, Sima is a sparkling, seasonal brew that can be enjoyed by all. Check out this guide to brewing your own refreshing batch, just in time for May Day!
To fill one’s middle
For food, nothing springs summer to mind more than a quaint little picnic, packed with all the season’s fresh fruits and veg. Particularly in the northern hemisphere: strawberries, blueberries, plums, broccoli and snow peas are just some of the tasty produce you can turn into salads, dishes and desserts.
Dressing for the occasion
The bold and quirky may choose to don fancy dress, in line with the celebrations. Traditionally, white clothing would be worn and decorated with colourful ribbons and fabrics. Although, one individual who truly stands out is the ‘Jack in the Green’. Usually, a number of participants of the festival are embellished with actual foliage, or at least green coloured garments. This originates from when people made garlands from flowers and leaves for May Day festivities. This became very competitive, to the point that men would be covered head-to-toe in decorations, becoming known as the Jack in the Green.
So, whether you’re planning to stop by Padstow, sit in the park with a summery picnic and jug of Sima, or have a go at dancing around a maypole, pull up a pair of Henry J Socks to add that extra bit of flare to your outfit, then prepare to dance your socks off!
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