New Year's Day
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 becoming well established.
- Abingdon Traditional MM: New Year's Day - 12:30pm The Punch Bowl, Market Place OX14 3HG; 1:30pm King's Head & Bell, East St Helen's Street OX14 5EA
- Aldbury MM : New Year's Day - 12:00 noon, The Valiant Trooper, Aldbury HP23 5RW; 1:00pm - The Greyhound, Aldbury HP23 5RT
- Alvechurch MM : New Year's Day - Mummers' Play around Alvechurch (at The Crown in Withybed Green)
- Ashdown Forest MM : New Year's Day - 1:00 pm - The New Inn, Hadlow Down TN22 4HJ
- Blackmore MM : New Year's Day - 1:00 pm, Leather Bottle, Blackmore CM4 0RL
- Dartington MM : New Year's Day - 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 : New Year's Day - Dancing about 12:30 pm followed by music and song until 3:00pm Calleva Arms, Silchester RG7 2PH
- Mersey MM: New Year's Day - 12:00 noon The Plasterers Arms Hoylake Wirral CH47 2DJ
- Monkseaton MM : New Year's Day - 12:00 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 - New Year's Day - 12:30pm Red Lion Hognaston
- Rose and Castle Morris : New Year's Day - 12:00 noon, The Boat, Stoke Bruerne with Queen's Oak, followed by "musical diversions"
- Shakespeare Morris : New Year's Day - 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm meet with family and friends to celebrate the New Year at the Blue Boar Inn, Grafton Lane, Temple Grafton, Alcester B49 6NR, with Morris dancing, Mummers play and Music Session
- Taunton Deane MM : New Year's Day - 12:30 pm for 1:00pm: Bradford on Tone - The White Horse Inn TA4 1HF
- Towersey Morris : New Year's Day - 1:00pm onwards: White Hart, Moneyrow Green, Holyport SL6 2ND by invitation of Taeppa's Tump - including the Towersey Mummers Play
- Yateley MM : New Year's Day - 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.
- Adlington MM and Mummers : Friday 3rd January – Alderley Mummers Play, Macclesfield & district tour - 8:00 pm Church House, Church Lane, Sutton Lane Ends, SK11 0DS; 9:00 pm Gawsworth, The Harrington Arms, Church Lane, off Congleton Road, SK11 9RR; 10:00 pm Macclesfield, The Waters Green Tavern, 96 Waters Green, SK11 6LH
- Kennet MM : 1st Saturday before 12th Night - 4th January 1:30pm - Tutts Clump Wassail - our traditional wassailing of the Tutt's Clump Cider Orchard has been continuous ever since its planting ... 6 years ago.
- Letchworth MM : Saturday 4th January - 6:30pm Dunton Wassail, Church Farm, Dunton SG18 8RR with Bedford MM
- Ravensbourne MM : Saturday 4th January - Wassailing The Apple Tree -in the gardens of The Two Doves, 37 Oakley Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 8HD
- Datchet Border Morris: Sunday 5th January - Brightwell Wassail, 2:00pm Red Lion, Brightwell Street, Brightwell-cum-Sotwell OX10 0RT
Saturday 11th January - Hedgerley Wassail, 2:00pm White Horse, Village Lane Hedgerley SL2 3UY
Sunday 19th January - Spriggan Mist Wassail, 3:00pm London Stone, Church Street, Staines TW18 4EP
- Hinckley Bullockers : 1st Saturday after 12th Night - 6th 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 - 11th January - Birmingham City Centre, usually starting at St. Martin’s Church in The Bull Ring at 10:00am where we have our Plough blessed for the start of the agricultural year; 10:30 am St Martins (All sides dancing); 11:00 am Rotunda Square - JMM, Sedgley & scratch, Leicester, Pecsaetan; Apple Store (New Street) - Earlsdon, Mersey, Beorma, Peterborough; 12:00 noon Lower Temple St - JMM, Sedgley & scratch, Beorma, Peterborough; Victoria Square - Leicester, Pecsaetan, Earlsdon, Mersey; 1:00 pm Food; 2:00 pm Colmore Row (GWA) - JMM, Sedgley & scratch, Earlsdon, Mersey; Cherry Street (Near Cathedral) - Leicester, Pecsaetan, Beorma, Peterborough; 3:00 pm High Street - All Sides
- Leominster MM : Twelfth Night - Monday 6th January 7:00pm - The Wassail - the first event revived after the side was re-formed in 1983, this year at The Bell, Tillington, Hereford HR4 8LE and
Saturday 11 January 7:00pm Oldfields Cider, Oldfields Farm, Frith Common, Tenbury Wells WR15 8JX
- Long Man MM : Twelfth Night - Saturday 11th January 8:00pm - Here We Come A Wassailing - The Wheatsheaf, 2 Church Street Willingdon Eastbourne BN20 9HP with Merrie England Mummers
- Silurian Border MM - 1st Saturday after 12th Night - 6th January Wassail in Much Marcle. 7:00pm dancing followed by an atmospheric torchlight procession into ancient cider orchards. After the Ceremony of singing, carousing and general merriment there will be music and Mummers at the Slip Inn, Much Marcle. Silurian would like to remind all participants that there is real fire involved - come prepared!
- Brackley MM : Saturday 11th January Somerton Wassail, 4:00pm Somerton Village Hall, Heyford Rd, Somerton, Bicester OX25 6LN
- Claro Sword: Plough Sunday 12th 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 wheel the plough to Knaresborough Market Place for more dancing.
- Grimsby MM : Plough Sunday - 12th January - 12.00 pm The White Hart, Ludford; 1.00 pm Market Place, Binbrook; 1.30 pm The Plough, Binbrook. Dancing, wassail cermony and the North Kelsey Plough Play.
- Thaxted Morris Men : Plough Sunday Service 12th January 11:00 am Thaxted Parish Church, Watling St, CM6 2PE
- Whitchurch Morris : Plough Sunday - 12th January 6:30 pm All Saints Church, Oving HP22 4HL
- Cambridge MM : Plough Monday - 13th January - 11:30am Comberton Duck Pond, Green End, Comberton, Cambridgeshire CB23 7DY performing East Anglian Molly dances here then followed by private shows at various schools through the day. 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. More details soon.
- Peterborough MM : 1st Saturday after 12th Night - 18th January - lead the Whittlesea Straw Bear procession 10:30am-3:30pm with many other dance teams followed by
Sunday 19th January, Straw Bear Church Service. - A Morris display as part of the Plough Service.
- Taunton Deane MM : Friday 17th January - Sheppy’s Cider Wassail, 6:30pm Bradford on Tone TA4 1ER
- Claro Sword: Plough Sunday 26th January St. Andrew's Church Aldborough, nr Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. Claro Sword perform traditional Yorkshire Longsword at the 9.30 am plough-blessing service.
The links given below will take you to more detailed descriptions of some of the other seasonal events.