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13 May - Is Abbotsbury Garland Day a celebration of the old May Day from the Julian calendar. Flowers are woven into frames and carried about the town by children.
29th May - Is Arbor Day in Aston on Clun. A Poplar tree in the town is bedecked with flags, they are left on the tree all year round. The ceremony has been held each year at Aston on Clun since 1786 andprobablt dates back to 1660 when King Charles II declared a holiday in May called Arbor day following th erestoration of the monarchy.
Beltane (or Beltaine) is a festival that marks the return of summer with the lighting of fires; where people could burn their winter bedding and floor coverings, ready to be replaced afresh. Referred to as a Gaelic ceremony, it has been celebrated for thousands of years throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Read More »
Ben Ledi rises above the plain of Stirling to the North of Callander, a prominent mountain with superb views over the surrounding countryside. It is not a munro but at 2884 feet has the feel of a much larger mountain, due to a number of false tops and the rewarding panoramic view. Read More »
29th May - A Garland King and Lady ride around the parish boundary on white horses. A garland, which is a large cone of flowers, is placed over the king topped with a posy of flowers called the queen. After the tour the garland is placed on the church tower. The ceremony has ancient origins.
The drumming well located near to the church is reputed to foretell death in the family of St Quentin. The folklore relates to a story about a fourteenth century drummer called Tom Hewson, who was accidentally knocked down the well by a St Quentin squire. His mother put a curse on the family predicting that the sound of drumming from the well would predict death in the family. Read More »
8th May - Feast of the Apparition of St Michael. St Michael is one of the Archangels and is said to have appeared several times throughout history. In 391AD at Monte Cargano and in 495AD at St Michaels Mount in Cornwall. In 590AD he was seen by St Gregory the Great in the air sheathing his sword. Signalling the ces Read More »
4 May - Irish day for confusing the fairies so that they could not create any havoc.
1st May - is Garland Dressing Day in Charlton On Otmoor. A wooden cross is bedecked with Yew and Box leaves.
At Giant's Cave, near Eden Hall, it has been the custom from time immemorial for the lads and lasses of the neighbouring villages to collect together on the third Sunday in May, to drink sugar and water, when the lasses give the treat: this is called Sugar-and-Water Sunday. They afterwards adjourn to the public house, and the lads return the compliment in cakes, ale, punch, etc. Read More »
8th May - The Helston Flurry Dance takes place, where Helstonians take part in a pagan ritual processional dance through the town in a custom that pre-dates Christianity and probably dates back to Celtic times. The dance takes place each eighth of May unless it falls on a Sunday or Monday and was probably originally a fertility or Spring festival. Read More »
7th May - Hocktide which was a medieval English festival was generally celebrated on the second Tuesday after Easter. The men of the village would tie up the women and demand a kiss for their release. The following day thewomen would tie up the men and demand money for their release which would go to Parish funds. It is suggested that it celebrates the massacre of the Danes in the 11t Read More »
1st May - The old Pagan fertility festival of Beltane, the day used to be celebrated in nearly every village green with may pole dancing. The custom has rapidly died out and many of the old village greens have been reclaimed. The festival was also celebrated with hilltop fires.
Minehead is the scene of the Obby Oss Festival April 30th, May 1st -3rd. The oss or horse is a covered wooden frame with a painted head at the centre bedecked with ribbons. The Oss meets the rising sun early on the 1st of May. In some stories this festival is said to date to a time when the local people scared away Norse invaders by disguising their ship as a sea serpent. Read More »
1st May - The festival starts at midnight in the early hours of Mayday. The actual Hobby Horse is a hoop covered with black material with an African mask, and a horses head with snapping jaws. A man stands inside the hoop and the procession parades around the town. The festival has ancient origins. Read More »
23 May - Rogation Day is a rare festival from the Christian calender. Rogation Day is one of the three days prior to Ascension Day and would see processions going around parish boundaries blessing their crops. This was known as 'beating the bounds'.
The well of St John of Beverley can be found beside the road on the east side of Harpham. St John (died 7 May 721) was born in Beverley and on his feast day (7th May) it is decorated and a procession of the choir and congregation of Beverley Minster make their way to it from the church in Harpham. Read More »
'There is an old tradition, possibly credited by some at the present time, that if anyone casts five white stones into a particular part of the river Ouse, near the city, as the clock in the Minster tower strikes one on May morning, he will see on the surface of the water, as if looking into a mirror, whatever is desired of the past, present, and future. . Read More »
Originally known as The Ship and dating from 1213, The Royal Standard of England on Brindle Lane, Beaconsfield is thought to be the oldest Free House in England and is reputedly haunted by two ghosts. Read More »
26th May - Tissington has its Well Dressing Day where for centuries it has been custom on Ascension Day to dress the five wells of the village, Yew Tree Well, Hall Well, Hands Well, Coffin Well and Town Well. In 1982 the Children's Well was introduced and has been part of th eceremony ever since. Read More »