Hundreds of years of May traditions celebrated at Pensthorpe festival

Most of us were shivvering through a chilly weekend - but this fire breather was certainly not feeling the cold.

He was one of the performers entertaining the crowds at the May Spring Festival at Pensthorpe Wildlife and Gardens over the weekend.

It was the first time the family event has been staged to celebrate May Day from the Dark Ages through to the present day and continues on Monday from 10am-5pm.

Over the weekend, visitors met historic characters such as the Green Man, Queen Elizabeth I, Robin Hood and his Merry Men and see a wicker man being built by native Celt tribesmen to celebrate 'Beltane', the Gaelic name for the month of May.

There was a Roman Gladiator tournament, archery display, live music from the Tudor Minstrels, floral garland making activities, morris dancers, folk music, a fancy dress competition to find merry May Queens and leafy Green Men plus an opportunity to get involved with May Pole dancing and Hobby Horse races.

The event is being held in conjunction with Black Knight Historical, a historical re-enactment group which has organised hundreds of historical displays in Britain and abroad.

Pensthorpe's events manager Kirsty Willingham said: 'It is a fantastic event and we are delighted to be bringing back the stories of the May traditions through the ages and getting the connection back.'

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