Maypole danceMaypole dancing
is a traditional form of folk dance
from western Europe
. Dancers dance in a circle each holding a coloured ribbon attached to a central pole. By the movements of the dancers the ribbons are intertwined and plaited either on to the pole itself or into a web around the pole. The dancers may then retrace their steps exactly in order to unravel the ribbons.
Maypole dancing is extremely ancient and is thought to have Pagan fertility symbolism. It is traditionally performed in the spring around the festival of Beltane.
It was revived in the early twentieth century in a more genteel form.
Maypole for a description of the symolic and religious aspects of the maypole.
Dance History Archives A history of Maypole dancing.