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2nd May 2010 A THIGH FOR THE STOCKING, A FOOT FOR THE SHOE,........
...............
AND A LEG FOR THE BONNY GREEN GARTER . . .
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. . . Those are the words to the traditional dance, 'The Bonny Green Garter', to which the whole of the Mayday crowd dance around the copse of trees at the summit of May Hill after sunrise on Mayday.

This year, the sunrise was just beautiful, and accompanied by a 98% waning moon in the western sky, which lit the ascent as my son, Matt and I struggled up the hill. Getting out of bed at 3.30 and climbing the hill is always a killer but it goes without saying: Along with the 12th Night Wassail, the Mayday Sunrise is my favourite event of the year. The atmosphere at the centuries old, English traditional gathering is just fantastic, and a sight to behold.

Lassington Oak and Forest of Dean Morris lead the dancing and this year, the Wild Oats Morris, a mainly female Morris side from the Forest of Dean joined in the fun. Morris dancing is traditionally a very male domain and, breaking tradition in this part of the country, the 'Wild Oats' Morris side are just great. Making lots of noise and wearing bright colours, they added a lot to the atmosphere of this year's festival.

I have tried to capture the atmosphere of the morning in the film below. Matt (with the long blonde hair) appears in many of the photos below and throughout the film. This is because he stood by the musicians, as I persuaded him to help me up the hill with the kit and record the sound. I hope you enjoy watching. Last year's film can be seen below the photos, at the bottom of the page, for Mayday weather comparison.

If your computer and internet connection can handle it, it is best, when watching, to switch from 360 to 720p and watch full screen. The other in-between setting, 480 is an intermediate quality. Choose the best your set-up will allow.


The Mayday Sunrise Festival on May Hill Gloucestershire 2010.

The Mayday sun worshipers after sunrise.

The Mayday Sun rises at 5.38 am for those at the summit of May Hill.

The Mayday Sunrise on May Hill.

After Sunrise on May Hill.

Wild Oats Morris.

A solo dance.

A bright 98% waning moon lit the hill before sunrise.

Lassington Oak Morris.

Lassington Oak Morris in the early light.

Forest of Dean Morris.

Wild Oats Morris dance to music performed by Tess Hunt.

A wide angle view after sunrise.

A different kind of weather for the 2009 Mayday Sunrise Festival but the atmosphere was still great!
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