Website celebrating May Day festivities in Oxford

All the traditional May Morning revels returned to Oxford in 2022. Following two years of lockdown some 12,500 people crowded the streets. 


Listening to the choir at Magdalen Tower, May Morning 2022 (photo Tim Healey)

Eynsham Morris dance on Broad Street, May Morning 2022 (photo Tim Healey)

Garlands on Broad Street, May Morning 2022 (photo Tim Healey)

May morning in Oxford is famous for the thousands who gather at 6am to hear a Latin hymn sung from the top of Magdalen College tower.

It is an extraordinary ceremony, but only one feature of Oxford tradition. Maytime revels take place all over the city, and were already controversial in Britain in 1250 when the Chancellor of Oxford University forbade ‘alike in churches, all dancing in masks or with disorderly noises, and all processions of men wearing wreaths and garlands made of leaves of trees or flowers or what not.’

This website honours both the historic celebrations and the joyous spontaneity of revels today. You will find photos, videos and any amount of abstruse information about maypoles and morris and much more besides.

Up the May!

On North Parade, May Day 2018 (photo Tim Healey)

This site is maintained by writer and broadcaster Tim Healey. Thanks to the many friends who have contributed material.

Email contact to right

Click on Menu above for events details, photo gallery, videos and pages on the historic background.



Oxford City Council maintains a website devoted to May Day, with important notes on bus transport, road closures and parking.


Daily Information highlights concerts, gigs, and much more. See 

Folk in Oxford offers a round-the-year survey of the traditional music scene and how to join in. See