We are now about midway through Spring and May Day is coming up to celebrate this wonderful season. Suitably enough, May Day in 2015 falls on 1st May, which during European pagan times celebrated the first day of Summer. Now we tend to think of May as part of our Springtime season in the UK. The Early May Bank Holiday Weekend is also variously known as the May Day Bank Holiday. Generally, this public holiday falls within the first weekend of the month.
One of the most iconic images of May Day celebrations is that of young maidens dancing around a May Pole. On 2nd and 3rd May, Cockermouth will revive the traditions and activities of a Georgian fair on its medieval and Georgian streets. Many townsfolk will be dressed in Georgian costume and the Georgian Fair Organising Group are keen to stress that visitors will be able to enjoy the festive air of an exciting Georgian outing with arts and crafts; antiques; ‘musicians; Maypole dancing; sedan chair racing; Redcoats; street theatre; a costume parade and guided tours around historic Cockermouth.’ (cockermouth.org.uk) Cockermouth is also the birthplace of William Wordsworth, the Lake District’s eminent Romantic poet. At Wordsworth’s House, visitors will see costumed staff in the house where he was born which has now been restored to its former glory.
The pre-Christian origins of May Day celebrated the Festival of Flora, the Roman goddess flowers. Nowadays, ‘May Day traditions include making floral garlands, decorating houses with flowers and leaves and crowning a May queen as a living image of the Roman goddess Flora.’ (http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/uk/early-may-bank-holiday) In keeping with this theme of Roman history is the Roman History Weekend being held on 2nd and 3rd May by Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. ‘The event will feature a Roman soldier from [the] DeJa Vu crew and activities will include making your own Torc bracelets, Roman Army dogtags plus a children’s “dressing up” box. To book, phone 019467 23192 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.’
There are many activities being planned all around the Lakes this weekend, but I only have space to describe three in this post. Here is one last one that should appeal to many people of all ages. It is entitled ‘Touch a Truck’ and is being hosted in Cockermouth on 3rd May: ‘A chance for young and old to get up close to fire engines; trucks; cranes; Council vehicles; limos and much more. Refreshments, stalls, and childrens activities. Held on the James Walker Site, Gote Road, Cockermouth from 10am till 4pm
Our Bed and Breakfast in Bowness-on-Windermere, Blenheim Lodge, is open as usual during the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. Also called the Early May Bank Holiday weekend, if you book direct with us and mention this blog, we will offer you a 5% discount off the total cost of any 3-night stay during this specific weekend. We have accommodation for double, single, twin and triple occupancy, all with en-suite/private facilities and views to Lake Windermere and/or fells. Call us on 00 44 (0)15394 43440 or email us at email@example.com in order to claim this discount. Check out our bedrooms and the views from them on our website!
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’