Morris Dancing: men in white
"Morris Dancing - uniquely English"
Morris dancing and pubs go together like bread and cheese, both enjoyable on their own, but best together. Depending on your attitude, it’s either a bunch of silly sods dressing up and prancing around with handkerchiefs or it’s a centuries’ old, uniquely English ritual, which resonates from our pastoral ancestry. What’s for sure is that it’s fun to watch and the kids love it.
The origins of Morris causes heated arguments amongst its participants. It dates from at least the 16th century and was performed in the Royal Court, when it seems to have had a top-down spread into the rural communities rather than the other way round. It smacks of all those kind of rituals to celebrate harvest and to encourage good spirits. There are stories of rivalry between ‘sides’ and ‘dance-offs’ to prove which side was best.
Now all this stuff with grown men dancing and skipping, jingling bells, waving handkerchiefs and clashing sticks could be utterly ridiculous but for the serious business of ale. For this is thirsty work and the Morris sides often have several venues to perform in one day.
Morris is usually a 'fair weather' ritual and most of the sides perform during the spring and summer months. However some do perform on special ocassions such as Boxing Day. Follow the Sidefinder link below to see where they may be performing near you.
Morris Dancing Video by pubs.com
The Morris Ring - History of Morris
Sidefinder - Find Morris Dancing near you