May Poles

May Poles were popular in some large towns and possibly indicate a certain English influence. In this festive way communities welcomed in the summer. There were May poles in many towns, such as Kilkenny, Mountmellick, Kildare and Longford. There was also a strong tradition in the north east of Ireland, such as in Hollywood, Co. Down.

Originally tall trees were used but later these were replaced by formal poles erected in the town centre. They were decorated with flowers and ribbons and like in England, where the tradition was more widespread, dancing and sport centred around the pole.

 
May Day in Ireland was a festival to welcome the summer and to protect the family and livelihood of the farm from supernatural forces.
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