Derbyshire dancers greet the dawn on May Day

An ancient ritual to mark the birth of a new summer has been staged in heart of Derbyshire's Peak District

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 8:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 8:35 am
Dancers celebrate as dawn breaks in Derbyshire on May Day.

May Day celebrations have been carried out in England for over 2,000 years. The Romans celebrated the festival of Flora, goddess of fruit and flowers, in May, which marked the beginning of summer. Many of the old customs celebrating new life and fertility survive to this day, including Morris dancing and dancing around the Maypole.

The tradition dates back thousands of years.
Greeting the sunrise on what traditionally marks the start of summer
Members of Powderkegs Morris 'dance-up-the-dawn' to greet the May Day sunrise on top of Windgather Rocks in Derbyshire
The historic ritual sees them 'dance-up-the-dawn' to greet the May Day sunrise
Dancers were up early to greet the dawn in traditional costume
The mayday event, like maypole dancing, is linked to fertility and the birth of a new summer
The photos were captured by Rod Kirkpatrick of F Stop Press Ltd