Plant-Lore

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Garland Day, Lewes, 2022

Posted on by royvickery |

Garland Day in Lewes, East Sussex, took place on the May Day bank holiday, Monday 2 May, in 2022, a rather grey and cool day.

Shortly before 10 a.m. people started gathering in Lewes Castle’s Gun Garden, and while the children assembled with their garlands, spectators were entertained by displays of morris dancing by three sides:¬† the Knots of May, a women’s side which revived Garland Day in 1980, Long Man Morris, and a girls’ side.¬† Dances from a variety of morris traditions were performed, including one dance which was said to have originated in Australia.

In the meantime the town’s mayor and the chair(wo)man of district council judged the garlands, selecting those which were thought to be best.

Shortly before 11 the dancing stopped, and at 11 the dancers, led by the Knots of May, their musicians, and children carrying their garlands, processed down the town’s main street to the Cliffe Precinct, where prizes were awarded to the carriers¬† – one to the winner and another to the runner-up for the best individual garland category, and one to the winner of the best group garland category.

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