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A dance around the Maypole was held Saturday in Lancaster as part of the town's 250th anniversary. (Debra Thornblad Photo)


Maypole dance tradition revived in Lancaster

LANCASTER — May Day was once a popular holiday. Children made May baskets in school or at home, filled them with candy and cookies and left them at neighbor’s and friends houses. The delivery method was to ring the door bell and run.

Traditionally, if you got caught, the person who caught you got a kiss.

A Maypole dance, something rarely done these days, was held Saturday at Centennial Park in Lancaster in honor of the town’s 250th anniversary, being celebrated all year.

Traditional dances were performed, including the worm dance filled with stomps that allegedly wake up worms and bring them to the surface. No worms were found this year, but dance leader Kayla Dauphine, from the Neskaya Movement Arts Center in Franconia, said she’s done it four years in a row and every time the worms have come up.

“It’s the vibrations,” she said.

This year that didn’t happen, but perhaps it was still too cold near the surface.

After dancing everyone had cake and lemonade and the children got May baskets made by local seniors.

May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. It is associated with towns and villages celebrating spring time fertility and revelry.


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