Monday, 7 September 2020

abbots bromley horn dance

Though cancelled this year due to the pandemic, customarily the eleventh century ritual folk dance—whose current iteration involves characters adorned with reindeer antlers, Maid Marian (Robin Hood’s love interest), a Village Idiot and a hobby horse is held on the day after Wakes Sunday, the first one falling after 4 September—traditionally an end of summer funfair introduced by Gregory the Great to transfer devotions from pagan idols to patron saints and preserved as a summer holiday through the Industrial Revolution as an homage to trade guilds. Academic research into the history of Staffordshire believe that the dance itself was a form of enchantment—sympathetic magic to ensure a good hunting season. The headdress used generation after generation has been radio-carbon dated back almost a millennium old where reindeer could last be found on the British Isles. An alternate kit of regular red deer antlers are used for when the troupe goes on tour.