It is May Day this coming Wednesday which is the first day of the month and I have just been informed that it is a Public Holiday in Singapore for May Day.
I didn't know.
I am flying back to Singapore tonight from India and I am very pleased.
May Day is an English Holiday. They didn't invent it but they make a bit of a deal about it.
The Romans came up with May day before Christianity was invented and they associated it with their worship of seasons. Roman May Day was initially a festival for the Goddess Flora who was the Goddess of Flowers.
I have been in the United Kingdom on May Day’s before and I have witnessed firsthand the celebrations undertaken by the English. I have seen their strange and disturbing pagan rituals and I found them a bit dark and weird and spooky. I couldn't help but feel an underlying sense of doom for the May Queens that are nominated in many of the small English villages. There was a sacrificial air about the whole May Queen thing and I found the dressing-up-in-funny-costumes and dancing-around-maypoles a little disconcerting as well.
The Morris Dancing was simply ridiculous.
When I first saw the Morris Dancers I thought that they were surely lunatics and I actually thought I was tripping. I had eaten mushroom soup the evening before I first saw a troupe of Morris Dancers and thought that perhaps the chef had slipped in some magic hallucinogenic ones.
Morris Dancing is one of the funniest and most bizarre things that I have ever seen. Here is a picture of some Morris Dancers.
See for yourself.
I am not sure if any of the English with whom I work in Singapore do any Morris Dancing - on May Day or any other. I will have to ask them. I think the main event for Morris Dancing is on the First of May however I assume that there must be a lot of practice involved and there are also other events where they do more dancing. This could well be other Pagan dates.
Morris Dancing is high energy and is quite complicated. The Dancers whack sticks together at times and they also wave about white hankies. They dance around in lines and circles with crazed looks of absolute delight on their faces.
They are synchronized.
Hankies are handkerchiefs. Globally they are used mostly by women - however many English men also use them to daintily blow their noses.
Here is a picture of Morris Dancers whacking of sticks together. It is brilliant.
Actually it would not really surprise me if most of the English blokes with whom I work in Singapore do in fact do Morris Dancing. They probably have their own private and secret Morris Dancing troupe and I can well imagine all of them dressed up and waving their lily white hankies about. I can imagine it clearly.
Whacking each other's sticks.