PUTNEY —Darkness still covered the access point to the Putney Mountain trailhead early Wednesday morning, as about 70 people hiked up the half-mile trail to the summit of Putney Mountain. At the summit, two groups of Morris dancers, a form of English folk dance, filled the air with music as they celebrated May Day.
May Day celebrations have been happening for over a millennia, taking different forms in different cultures. The Putney Morris Men have been welcoming the first sunrise of May since the 1980s, and the female group, the Putney Mountain Morris, celebrated its 10th year.
Fred Breuing, who plays "the fool" during the May Day celebration, said they dance on May 1 because it's halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. "Morris Dancing helps bring in the May," said Breuing.
As the glow from the sunrise illuminated the dancers on the summit of the mountain, laughter and cheer radiated from the audience. Before the event was over, Breuing took out a long sword and stabbed the traditional Morris cake.