The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

Traditional Morris Events: January

New Year's Day

Following the COVID enforced interregnum, most of the traditional events below have resumed. We've worked our way through the entries and those in bold have been confirmed. If we've missed you, shout out. Meanwhile it is worth checking with individual sides' web or Facebook pages for further confirmation.  Happy New Year to all our readers ... who have read this far.

January is named for the two-headed god Janus who could look backward and forward, to the old year and the new at the same time and for the Romans 1st January became the official start of the year. From the 12th century the official new year in Britain was on March 25. New Year’s Day on January 1 marked the start of a new year according to the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. It was adopted immediately in some areas of Europe but wasn't used by many countries until centuries later. The United Kingdom only started observing the Gregorian calendar in 1752, when 11 days were dropped. Officially in England, 1751 was the shortest year ever, lasting only from March 25 to December 31. It has only been a UK Bank Holiday since 1974, so for most morris sides dancing in the New Year, or dancing off the hang-over, is a relatively recent tradition, but as become well established.

  • Abingdon Traditional MM: 2:00 pm The Punch Bowl County Hall, 6 Market Pl, Abingdon OX14 3HG, 3:00 pm Broad Face 30-32 Bridge St, Abingdon OX14 3HR; finish at The Punch Bowl.
  • Aldbury MM ​: 12 noon, The Valiant Trooper, Aldbury HP23 5RW; 1:00pm - The Greyhound, Aldbury HP23 5RT
  • Alvechurch MM : Mummers' Play around Alvechurch (at The Crown in Withybed Green)
  • Ashdown Forest MM : 1:00 pm - The New Inn, Hadlow Down TN22 4HJ
  • Barnsley Longsword : 12 noon, The Spencer's Arms 21 Church St, Cawthorne, Barnsley S75 4HL
  • Blackmore MM : 1:00 pm, Leather Bottle, Blackmore CM4 0RL 
  • Dartington MM : 1:00 pm. Hope Cove, Devon TQ7 3HQ About 2:00pm we will adjourn to the Hope and Anchor Inn.
  • Etcetera MM : New Year's DaySpectacular 12:30pm, The Wonder, Batley Rd, Enfield EN2 OJG.  We will be joined by dancing friends from Hertfordshire Holly and Camden Clog, as well as other Cotswold Morris dancers. Followed by music and song in the bar.
  • Kennet MM : Dancing about 12:30 pm followed by music and song until 3:00pm Calleva Arms, Silchester RG7 2PH
  • Mersey MM:  12 noon The Plasterers Arms Hoylake Wirral CH47 2DJ
  • Monkseaton MM :  12 noon outside the Ship Inn, Monkseaton and then afterwards in the Ship Inn. follow us as we dance in all the pubs in Monkseaton during the afternoon: Black Horse, Monkseaton Arms,  Front Street Tap House & Left Luggage Room
  • Ripley Morris - 12:30pm Red Lion, Main Street, Hognaston DE6 1PR
  • Rose and Castle Morris : 12 noon, The Boat, Stoke Bruerne with Queen's Oak, followed by "musical diversions"
  • Shakespeare Morris : 12:noon - 3:00 pm meet with family and friends to celebrate the New Year at the New Inn, Clifford Chambers CV37 8HR.,  with Morris dancing, Mummers play and Music Session
  • Taunton Deane MM  : 12:30 pm for 1:00pm:  The White Horse Inn  Bradford on Tone TA4 1HF
  • Towersey Morris : 1:00pm onwards: White Hart, Moneyrow Green, Holyport SL6 2ND by invitation of Taeppa's Tump - including the Towersey Mummers Play
  • Yateley MM : 1:00 pm, The Cricketers, Hartley Wintney RG27 8QB - with Mummers Play


12th Night  - Mummers, Wassails, Ploughs & Bears

Twelfth Night takes place on Sunday 5th January 2020. Twelfth Night is a festival in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking". There is some confusion these days, however, as to which night is Twelfth Night: modern practice is often to regard the night of Epiphany itself (sixth of January) to be Twelfth Night. The older tradition of Twelfth Night being the 5th January stems from the medieval practice of the day beginning at sunset, rather than at midnight as it does now. Or the 5th can be celebrated as Old Christmas day, or it could be Old Twelfth Night, 17th January, as determined by the Julian calendar - or even the twelfth night after Halloween! See Wikipedia for a full explanation.  There's not enough room here, but whenever it is, enjoy the festivities below - as you can see there are many ways to celebrate in January.

  • The Traditional Ilmington Morris Dancers : Thursday 5th January - The Ilmington Mummers Twelfth Night  8:00pm The George Hotel Shipston; 9:00pm The Howard Arms Ilmington
  • Adlington MM and Mummers : Friday 6th January – Alderley Mummers Play, Macclesfield & district tour - 7:30 pm Church House, Church Lane, Sutton Lane Ends, SK11 0DS; 8:30 pm Gawsworth, The Harrington Arms, Church Lane, off Congleton Road, SK11 9RR; 9:30 pm Macclesfield, The Waters Green Tavern, 96 Waters Green, SK11 6LH
  • Kennet MM  : 1st Saturday before 12th Night - 7th January 1:30pm - Tutts Clump Wassail - our traditional wassailing of the Tutt's Clump Cider Orchard has been continuous ever since its planting ... 9 years ago.
  • Letchworth MM : Saturday 7th January - 6:30pm Dunton Wassail, Church Farm, Dunton SG18 8RR with Bedford MM,  a mummers play from the Brafront Guizers and a traditional music session in the March Hare pub afterwards, 34 High St, Dunton, Biggleswade SG18 8RN
  • Ravensbourne MM : ​Saturday 7th January - 8:00 pm Wassailing The Apple Tree -in the gardens of The Two Doves, 37 Oakley Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 8HD
  • Datchet Border Morris: Sunday 14th January  Hedgerley Wassail, 2:00pm  White Horse, Village Lane Hedgerley SL2 3UY​
  • Hinckley Bullockers : 1st Saturday after 12th Night - 7th January - Tour of Sharnford and Sapcote starting 9:40am The Countryman. 23 Leicester Rd, Sharnford, LE10 3PP - see website for details
  • Jockey MM : 1st Saturday after 12th night - 7th January - Plough Tour of Birmingham City Centre; Cathedral square (Inc plough blessing) 10.30 to 11.30(ish); Victoria square 11.45 to 12.30; Lunch 12.30 to 1.30; North Bar (next to Snow Hill station) 1.45 to 2.30; New St (outside HSBC) 2.45 to 3.15; High Street (M&S) 3.30 to 4.00; Wind down in one or two local hostelries.
  • Leominster MM : Twelfth Night - Friday 6th January 7:00pm - The Wassail - the first event revived after the side was re-formed in 1983, this year at Burton Court, Eardisland, HR6 9DN
  • Long Man MM  Twelfth Night - Saturday 7th January 8:00pm - Here We Come A Wassailing -Wassail Ceremony at The King's Head Cacklebury',146 South Road, Hailsham
  • Silurian Border MM 1st Saturday after 12th Night - 7th January  7:00pm Wassail at Westons Much Marcle HR8 2NQ Tickets from
    Dancing followed by an atmospheric torchlight procession into ancient cider orchards. After the Ceremony of singing, carousing and general merriment there will be food, music and Mummers at the Visitors Centre.Silurian would like to remind all participants that there is real fire involved - come prepared!
  • Claro LongswordPlough Sunday 8th January St. John's Parish Church Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. Claro Sword perform traditional Yorkshire Longsword at the 10:30 am  Plough-blessing service and afterwards, weather permitting,  wheel the plough to Knaresborough Market Place for more dancing to the multitude around noon.
  • Lincoln and Micklebarrow Morris Men  Sunday15th January - The Navenby Plough Jags will be performing the Plough Play in Navenby at 6.00pm in the garden of Mrs Smith's Cottage (East Road) and then at 7.00 pm inside the Lion and Royal.57 High St, Navenby, Lincoln LN5 0DZ. Musicians and singers are welcome to join them at the Lion & Royal after the 7pm performance for a session.
  • Thaxted Morris Men : Plough Sunday Service 8th January 11:00 am Thaxted Parish Church, Watling St, CM6 2PE
  • Cambridge MM : Plough Monday9th January dancing in Cambridge during the afternoon.. In the evening we join the Balsham Ploughboys in a tour of their village as Cotswold Dancers, visiting many hospitable families and the village pubs.
  • Peterborough MM  : 1st Saturday after 12th Night - 14th January - lead the Whittlesea Straw Bear procession 10:30am-3:30pm with many other dance teams followed by
    Sunday 15th January, Straw Bear Church Service. - A Morris display as part of the Plough Service.
  • Claro Longsword : Sunday 15th January 10:00am at the Plough Sunday service at St Andrew’s Church in Aldborough (nr Boroughbridge) with Hornbeam Molly. Both teams to dance at The Crown Hotel, Horsefair, Boroughbridge, York YO51 9LB at around 11.30am.
  • Taunton Deane MM : Friday 27th January - 6:45pm Sheppy’s Cider Wassail, 6:30pm Bradford on Tone TA4 1ER . Tickets are available now. See: for more details.


The links given below will take you to more detailed descriptions of some of the other seasonal events.

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