It’s always fun to visit the Paraparaumu market to stock up on freshly grown local vegetables, and pick up a little something for lunch. As usual, the market was full with locals and visitors alike, all looking for a bargain or two to take home. We can vouch for the locally produced sausages, and the rather tasty Eccles cakes.
What’s this I see – a troop of Morris Dancers and musicians walking through the market. I love to watch this sort of thing, there must be a bit of Pagan blood coursing through my veins, I think (Like a moth to a light says Robin). So there I was, quite enthralled, snapping away with my trusty camera, while Robin waited, and waited, then waited some more. The dancers were in fine form, and danced gaily around waving their handkerchiefs in the air, stamping their legs to make those bells tinkle.
Then they did a couple of dances clacking their sticks together with great gusto. The strips of loose cloth on their costumes swirled around in a riot of colour as they danced around. I don’t know who was enjoying this spectacle more, me or the dancers.
The ladies were up next carrying garlands of flowers as they moved around in formation. You could certainly imagine all this taking place in Pagan times in all the rural communities to welcome Spring after a long cold Winter.
All this brought back delightful memories of the Morris Dancers we saw on in Stow-on-the-Wold a couple of years ago on our UK trip. Morris dancing is obviously alive and well in New Zealand too. The origins of Morris dancing are lost in the mists of time. It survives today as a form of folk dance performed in the open air in villages in rural England. It is felt that the dances have a magic power and serve both to bring luck and to ward of evil. The performers certainly enjoy themselves, and speaking for myself, the onlookers do too.