City Council encourages Oxford residents to celebrate May Morning at home and online

Published: Thursday, 29th April 2021

This year Oxford City Council, alongside Magdalen College, encourages residents to celebrate Oxford’s traditional May Morning at home and online.

Celebrated since the early 16th century, May Morning has traditionally been held at Magdalen Tower with thousands of attendees celebrating in the streets below.

However, on Saturday 1 May 2021 outdoor gatherings of more than six people or more than two households will remain illegal.

Due to these restrictions, there will be no May Morning event held at Magdalen Tower. Instead, a recording of the Choir of Magdalen College singing the Hymnus Eucharisticus and some traditional madrigals can be found online.

The pre-recorded video will be available from 6 am on the choir’s Facebook page and on their YouTube channel.

Members of the public are also encouraged to use #MayMorning on social media to share their May Morning activities while celebrating safely at home.

This year’s online May Morning follows in the footsteps of last year’s successful COVID-safe event. A video from the 2020 celebration can be found on Magdalen College’s YouTube channel with over 66,000 views.

“May Morning is an Oxford institution, it is a tradition that our residents and students have observed for over 500 years.

“This year, we are encouraging our residents to continue this tradition online using #MayMorning.

“I know that we can work together as a city to have an enjoyable May Morning celebration while safeguarding our communities against coronavirus.”

Paula Redway, Culture and Community Development Manager, at Oxford City Council.

“We were delighted to be able to record this safely within current restrictions so that we share this historic occasion with the people of Oxford and the wider community.”

Mark Williams, Informator Choristarum, and Tutor in Music, at Magdalen College.