May Morning: A Great Oxford Tradition
One of the most famous traditions in Oxford is that of May Morning.
At the very break of dawn – 6am – both the townspeople and students gather in vast numbers on Magdalen Bridge to hear the choir of Magdalen College sing from the tower, a tradition that has continued for more than 500 years. Some students will have stayed up all night, and will still be in black tie from balls the night before.
Then everyone spills out from Magdalen Bridge into the city centre, where they are greeted by a variety of bands, Morris dancers and stalls selling much-needed coffee! Many people there followed the tradition of dressing in green, from a discreet scarf to head-to-toe costume.
Here are some photos to give you a flavour of this year’s May Morning celebrations:
Traditional Morris dancers entertained the crowd on Broad Street.
More modern Morris dancers were in Radcliffe Square.
A large folk group got people dancing on the steps of the Clarendon Building.
Some Morris dancers made distinctive costume choices!
‘Horns of Plenty’ performed outside Queen’s College.
More Morris dancers performed on the High Street.
May Morning is always good for interesting outfits!
Large crowds gathered all over Oxford – this is outside the Sheldonian.
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All photos courtesy of Donald Judge, with many thanks.