May Day morning is one of many strong traditions associated with Oxford. I have very fond memories of one May Day - in 1997 - celebrating with friends by going to a ball at Linacre College the night before, followed by walking to the High Street to watch the choir singing from Magdalen College Tower at 6.00am on May Day morning, then frequenting a pub for an early beer before going to vote in the General Election, and finally lying in the sunshine for the rest of the morning...
This year's celebrations may well have been cancelled, but many community groups in Oxford along with the Choir of Magdalen College are determined not to let this 500-year-old Oxford tradition go unmarked, and will keep it going even when we are all in lockdown.
A full line-up of the talent for the morning can be found on The Daily Info web page. You can enjoy the celebrations virtually - anywhere in the world - from the comfort of your own homes.
You can also watch how Magdalen College have been ‘Making a virtual May Morning’ in their video on YouTube. Their special May Morning performance will be broadcast at 6:00am (BST) on Friday 1 May on The Choir of Magdalen College Facebook page and then afterwards on their web page.
And if you want to see what Oxford is really like on a sunny day in lockdown, watch this amazingly haunting and beautiful video from Sean Hattersley:
The annual May Day celebrations are an incredibly strong tradition in Oxford, which usually involve rising early (or staying up all night) to hear the choir sing from Magdalen tower, roaming down the High to catch Morris dancing, folk music, May balls, sumptuous breakfasts and of course, 6am pub openings, in a rather joyful community event which attracted over 20,000 people when it landed on a bank holiday Monday in 2017. This year, things are a little different, but Oxford wouldn't be Oxford without some May mania, and lots of people have come together to bring you May Morning online. With Oxford expats the world over able to join in, we may yet beat the 2017 record!