Sunday, 8 January 2017

Boxing Day Morris Dancing

Boxing Day and traditionally a time to get out of the house and gain some fresh air after being stuck inside the day before. Nothing more traditional in Moulton than spot of Boxing Day Morris Dancing. A type of folk dance that dates back to 1448. It was a bright crisp sunny morning so a good turnout from the village. The pubs were also all open so that helped the atmosphere too.
The music is provided on melodeon, fiddle and concertina and there are nationally renowned musicians among the group. They pride ourselves on being one of the best traditional dance teams in the country. Performing at traditional English Morris dances in the ways they should be done, dancing throughout the summer months at fairs, steam rallies, fetes, fun days, folk festivals and in many open places around Northamptonshire.

I think it is important that traditions such as these are maintained and supported. Judging by the turnout there is certainly a lot of positivity within the village. After the Morris Dancing followed something called 'The Mummers Play'. Whats a Mummers Play ? Well i shall tell you as you ask so nicely. Again it's a folk play performed by amateurs whereby all the cast end up on 'stage'. Usually a dual of some kind takes place with the loser being brought back to life by a Doctor. In this particualr version we were treated to an appearance by 'Donald Trump'. The word mummer is sometimes explained to derive from Middle English mum ("silent") or Greek mommo ("mask"), but is more likely to be associated with Early New High German mummer ("disguised person", attested in Johann Fischart) and vermummen ("to wrap up, to disguise, to mask ones faces").Glad thats cleared that one up. Essentially its a comedy about a Doctor with a magic potion that can revive the dead. Other common characters include; St George (minus a dragon), Old Father Christmas, who introduces some plays, the Fool and Beelzebub or Little Devil (who demands money from the audience). A good mornings entertainment was followed by a trip to the pub where I was mistaken for one of the Morris Dancers. Not wishing to disappoint the lady I was very modest and stated that I didn't do too much really but it was kind of her to say that she was impressed with my dancing!