We’re only a few weeks away from the release of Under the Harvest Moon, a Bluestocking Belles Collection with Friends.
In the small fictional Cheshire town of Reabridge, the harvest festival of 1815 includes a fair with booths providing trinkets, food, and drink, a grand bonfire, and a harvest ball, complete with music, dancing and a Lord of the Harvest.
Some of those folks dancing are Morris Men.
The first time I saw a Morris Dancer was in a documentary about English village life. Then I began to notice them popping up in episodes of the Midsomer Murders detective series. Men, mostly older, dressed in quaint rustic costumes–have you seen the Morris in any films or shows? This picture of Morris Men in Cheshire brings to mind the Bavarian costumes worn during Oktoberfest.
The History of the Morris
In fact, other European countries have similar traditions of folk dance. The first documented mention of Morris dancing dates to the fifteenth century. But, there are those who believe Morris dates to early pagan traditions. From MayflowerMorris.com:
Morris dancing is an ancient seasonal pagan ritual male custom associated with the bringing of luck, the fertility and regeneration of the soil, and the promotion of the cycle of the seasons. The form of the dance varies with geographical location and each village has its own distinctive tradition or style of dances.