Introduction

Hi and welcome to my site.
Cheshire is full of weird and wonderful stories of the supernatural, local heores and the mysterious.
I will take you on a tour as I look deep into the Cheshire that lies underneath the wonderful countryside and find the secrets that still hide there.
What magic and long lost secrets will we find?
So, sit back and enjoy my journey. This is a land of Magic, Knights, Dragons, Wizards, Witches, Boggarts, Murder, Ghosts and Old Forgotten Knowledge.


I would love to hear your stories as well. So if you have anything you would like me to look into and find information out, please let me know.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

MAY DAY IN CHESHIRE

May Day to the ancients was called CALAN MAI. This tradition was to ensure fertility in men, women, animals and crops. It was sacred to the Barbs and Druids who worshipped the oak and to them it was called BELTAINE. And for this reason, people danced around a Yew or Oak tree or a wooden pole.



Many Yew trees in churchyards today are sometimes older than the church, like this one at Astbury. It shows that these were holy places and probably used in such May Day celebrations before Christianity.



May Day celebrations were a cause for the village to cause a little mischief and full of sexual innuendos. It was a time for letting off steam.

Just like carol singing, songs were performed by groups of people, door to door. In our area, they were called Cheshire Soul Gangs.

Another tradition in Cheshire on May Day was the time when May Birchers made their calls. This was not always enjoyed by some people. The group of villagers who made up the May Birchers would tore of branches off trees and place them above doors. These branches were said to match the characteristics of the households -ie- a broom for a groom and a plum for someone who was glum.

It was also known as Wedding Day and in Cheshire villages, grains of coloured sand would be thrown on the floor as the couple walked. This tradition was again for the fertility of the couple.

May Day was also the time when Beltaine Fires were lit. These were gaint bonfires (see my section on Beltaine Fires/Goodly Fires).

Knutsford celebrate May Day in great style. The tradition has not died out here, as it has done in most of the rest of the country. The May Day procession with Morris Men and the whole spirit of this time of year, is kept alive at the Festival.

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