[Christine O’Keeffe’s May Day Customs]
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Oak Apple Day: On the 29th of May people wear sprigs of oak for the oak king who hides in an oak tree. Houses are decorated with oak branches. Beer is consumed and plum pudding eaten. In Grovely Forest, Salisbury, a procession takes place at first light, accompanied by the sound of horns. The Garland King rides at the head of a procession at Castleton, Derbyshire. His head and the upper body are encased in a wooden construction, shaped like a beehive and covered with flowers and greenery. On top of the garland is a small posy of flowers, called the queen. A man dressed as a hag, with a band and children dressed in white follow. After pausing to dance at various points along the way, the procession arrives at the church and the garland is pulled up to the top of the church tower and fixed to a pinnacle. The posy is then placed on war memorial. (8)
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