Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 15.09.58AN ancient English festival, whose origins can be traced back to pre-Roman times, is being celebrated this bank holiday at a top North East museum.

On Monday 4 May, Bede’s World, Jarrow, is turning back the clock with a fun-filled day of family activities inspired by centuries-old May Day traditions.

May Day originates from the Pagan festival of Beltane, although the earliest celebrations are thought to have occurred during the Roman era, when the arrival of spring would be celebrated with a day of dancing dedicated to the goddess Flora.

Later, in the 16th century, English villagers would dance around birch maypoles and visitors to Bede’s World on Monday will be able to follow in their footsteps with maypole dancing.

During medieval times, songs and plays formed a key part of May Day festivities and Monday’s events will also include St George and the Dragon performances on the Amphitheatre, storytelling and music from Fools Gold and Compass Acapella; a 40-strong acapella group.

There will also be Anglo Saxon re-enactors, stone carving and wood turning and the chance to try a variety of traditional crafts with children encouraged to make their own May Day Garlands.

The celebrations will culminate in the crowning of the May Queen and King who will lead a procession around the farm.

The May Day celebrations will begin at 10am and entry costs £5.50 for adults, £3.50 concessions and £13.50 for a family ticket for two adults and up to three children.

Entry is free for children under five and carers of disabled visitors. For further details visit www.bedesworld.co.uk.