May 2, 2013 - Maytime Hobby Horses

What do you think? Should a grown man be dancing around town dressed in a boat-shaped wooden frame, mask, tall hat, ribbons, and a skirt made of brightly colored roundels? Oh, and let us not forget the tail in the back of the boat frame!

And should this guy really be chasing children?

Actually, in Minehead, England, there are three such Hobby Horses running around the town, accosting people for contributions, and teasing and thrilling kids. Each horse—the Original Sailor's Horse, the Traditional Sailor's Horse, and the Town Horse—has attendants and musicians. The Hobby Horses dance as the musicians play drums and accordions, from the evening of April 30 to May 2 or 3.

This colorful custom goes back to 1465...which means that Hobby Horses have been darting and dancing in Minehead during Maytime for more than 500 years!


Sometimes people use the words hobby horse to mean stick horses. You can make a hobby horse for your favorite toddler or a whole bunch of them for your friends to decorate and customize. 

Plan Ahead...
Check out my Pinterest boards of May holidays and May birthdays.

Also on this date:

Anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's study of the Gulf Stream

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