PICTURES: Fun and flowers at Lewes Garland Day

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Men, women and children danced through the streets of Lewes decked in beautiful flowers for this year’s annual Garland Day celebration.

Drizzly weather didn’t dampen the spirits of all those who came to take part and watch the May Day event.

Lewes Garland Day. Photo by Carlotta Luke (www.carlottaluke.com) SUS-160405-120305001

Lewes Garland Day. Photo by Carlotta Luke (www.carlottaluke.com) SUS-160405-120305001

The celebrations started at 10am with a children’s garland competition in the Gun Garden at Lewes Castle.

From there, groups of dancers joined a procession down High Street holding intricate floral arches and bright bouquets, accompanied by young children with pretty flowers entwined in their hair.

The parade came to an end in Cliffe Precinct, where dancers including The Knots of May, Long Man Morris and Blackpowder Morris continued to put on a show for the many spectators lining the streets of Lewes.

The historic tradition was started in 1874 by the then mayor of Lewes Mr JF Verrall and was revived by the Knots of May in 1980.

Lewes Garland Day. Photo by Carlotta Luke (www.carlottaluke.com) SUS-160405-120424001

Lewes Garland Day. Photo by Carlotta Luke (www.carlottaluke.com) SUS-160405-120424001

The local dance group organise the traditional Garland Ceremony each May Day Bank Holiday Monday in Lewes town centre.

They take their name from the old tradition of gathering knots or garlands of flowers to mark the arrival of spring.

• For more photographs from the 2016 Garland Day celebrations, visit photographer Carlotta Luke’s website at carlottaluke.com.

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