Early in my grammar school days, probably in the 4th grade, our teacher followed the holidays and tried to instill in us times for celebration. The April rains were indeed producing May flowers, and as the calendar turned from April to May first, it was time for us to learn about the traditions of “May Day.”
While we were still in our class room, she gave us a short history of the Celebration of Summer approaching and about the May Pole dance that other nations celebrate at this season.
Then she lined us up two by two and we marched out to the play ground and over to the pole. Our teacher had instructed each boy to hold a ribbon and stand in place. The girls on either side were to weave in and out as they held one of the other colored streamers.
With her harmonica our teacher hummed a key and we began to sing one of our songs and intertwine until the pole was beautifully decorated. Then we reversed and undid our lovely patterned pole.
That was my first and last May Pole dance, but it was a memory that appears at the beginning of every month of May.
I wouldn’t doubt it but that the other classes in our school were happy to use our May Pole and do their own version of the May Pole Dance.
You may enjoy this rendition of a May Pole dance performed by school children in England. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYhAFHaYp0M&feature=related
Fourth graders dance here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtT21X4gKsM
High Schoolers perform in the school gym; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vDDnmS5ncc&feature=related
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