May Day at the Cerne Abbas Giant

BANKS of grey cloud loom over luminous rapeseed fields. Behind the steep slopes sound the clack-clack of hazel sticks and lilt of the melodeon.

It’s not long after sunrise, and the Wessex Morris Men are folk dancing above the Cerne Abbas Giant, a traditional ritual to celebrate May Day. They’re joined by some visitors from the North, Sheffield City Morris.

Watch the Morris dancing

​There’s a decidedly Pagan feel to the old Maypole site this morning. People are crowned with leaves and flowers. Some sip from pewter vessels.

The air is tangy with the smell of nettles trampled in the dew. The sun dips salmon-pink fingers into the surrounding valleys. Mists drift past the sleeping village.

And the Giant remains impassive in the face of the annual onslaught. 

It’s time for the procession down the hill. An assortment of merrymakers make their way towards Duck Street.

In the village square, we’re greeted by the thud of the tabor and The Dorset Ooser. Cadbury the Horse also puts in an appearance, then it’s cider for breakfast. And home, via Piddle Lane. What a wonderfully bonkers way to start the day.

Watch the Dorset Ooser and more folk dancing in Cerne Abbas village


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s