Knutsford Royal May Day ; a brief explanation

KMC has a long tradition of supporting Knutsford Royal May Day, one of the great traditional street festivals of England. The 2015 May Day, on 2nd May, marked the 151st Anniversary of the 1864 event.

Though May Day has its roots in pagan festivals, and celebrations were banned by Cromwell in 1644, The Knutsford festival was revived by Rev. Robert Clowes in 1864, and gained Royal approval in 1887 with the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The festival still has elements of its pagan ancestry, with maypole dancing and characters from English mythology, but the Rev Clowes intended it as a celebration of the commencement of summer, featuring children in costume, dancing, brass bands and a fair. It still has the same format, with the fun fair on the Heath being a huge attraction for the whole North West of England.

Another unique feature of the Knutsford May Day celebrations is "Sanding", which is street art in coloured sands signifying important places on the route of the parade, and the home of the May Queen.

KMC has long been the location of one of the sandings, and the church has always welcomed guests for refreshments and chat during the day. Throngs of people fill the narrow streets of the town, and the church is ideally located to offer such a service.

 

A more complete history is to be found below:

 
 
 
 

History

Articles for the history archive of the website