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Sunrise Beltane song and dance with the Newtowne Morris Men in Cambridge MA

Newtowne Morris Men's Maypole, 2012
Newtowne Morris Men's Maypole, 2012
Courtesy Newtowne Morris Men, used with permission

Sing and dance at sunrise to welcome Beltane this year! On May 1st the Newtowne Morris Men will gather at 5:30 am on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge MA to lead the community in singing, dancing, and a traditional Maypole. Hundreds of people will come for this nearly forty-year-old tradition—join the fun!

“Stick a flower in your hair; something that’s going to make you feel like you’re waking up the Earth,” says Mitch Diamond, who is on the May Day Committee and has been dancing with the Men since 1976. The Men will demonstrate traditional Morris dancing; they will also pass out songbooks and teach traditional social dances, including “Sellinger’s Round,” one of the oldest English dances that is still remembered. And of course, there will be a Maypole!

“People interpret the day whichever way they want to,” says Mr. Diamond, explaining that many groups besides the pagan community celebrate the holiday at this event—folk dancers, reenactivists, locals who have been enjoying the event for years. “I look at it as a community event. Getting the community together and celebrating roots, whatever your roots are. Morris dancers like to think of it as the beginning of Spring and waking up the Earth.”

The event begins at 5:30 am near the Weeks Footbridge, not far from Harvard Square. Around 6:30 it will move to the Harvard Quad by the Lowell House. The ground is grassy and flat. This is a free event. For more information, see