Morris Dancing at Hogwarts

Gloucester cathedral is an impressive looking place and has been used for some of the scenes in the Harry Potter movies.20151226_110608
Like these cloisters:20151226_111047

 

On Boxing day (the day after Christmas), there is an annual gathering of Morris dancers and mummars just outside the cathedral. These are medieval rituals that have lasted from the 1500’s if not before. The morris dances are done by separate groups of men or women (although there are some mixed groups.) It apparently began in Spain as a court dance and then spread enthusiastically through Europe and is done at almost every celebration..any excuse for prance in public, especially for British men, who are notably reserved.
Well, we gathered at the cathedral early and the dancers arrived in various traditional costumes depending on the group.

This was a mens group there were mainly oldish men and some younger..one was only about 10, and he had the most fun. 20151226_123254This was a mixed group. Then the music began, played on various instruments from recorders to concertinas.

Each group did some dances. After this a group of actors called mummers performed a traditional play with the characters of Robin Hood, king Henry, a doctor who brings everyone back to life after being killed and a horse that wanders around.

There is also a green man and a green woman with a skirt of green branches..these are pagan symbols of the landscape. I am always amazed at what Britons get up to in their spare time!

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