Early May Day start for Ryburn Longsword

Ryburn Longsword
Ryburn Longsword

RYBURN Longsword dancers gathered before dawn by Scammonden Bridge to mark the arrival of May Day.

Traditionally, May 1, has been a workers’ holiday to mark the beginning of summer which offically starts next month.

It has been celebrated since Roman times and Ryburn Longsword carried on the centuries-old English tradition of dancing as the sun rises which was 5.41 am.

“We chose our spot facing east to catch the sun,” said spokeswoman Pauline Jones.

“It was brilliant - but very windy and cold.”

The group is based in Ripponden and dance at festivals through the summer months mixing traditional longsword dancing with dances created by themselves.

For the convenience of the public the May Day Bank Holiday is now the first Monday of the month when Maypole dancing and Morris dancing will take place at towns and villages across the country.

Traditionally, the celebrations express joy and hope after a long winter.