Being back at university after the long Easter break can be tough. Fewer lie ins, exams on the horizon and no good excuse to eat as much chocolate as you like! But fear not, May – the month of long weekends, is almost here. And who doesn’t love a long weekend? In May, there are two bank holidays, so what are the dates for this year’s holidays?

The first is on Monday 1st May, and this is officially known as Early May Bank Holiday. It’s often referred to as May Day Bank Holiday. The second is on Monday 29th May and is officially known as Spring Bank Holiday. But you’d best make the most of them because the next one isn’t until the end of August.

So, what will you be doing for the May Day Bank Holiday?

Throughout history, May Day has been a day of festivities and is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime and the fertility of the land and livestock.

In England, there are a number of traditions which take place for May Day including dancing around a May pole, where children weave ribbons in a pretty pattern around a pole – usually made from birch – as they dance.

Another traditional dance associated with the beginning of May is Morris dancing. The dancers wear different outfits depending on which part of the country they are from. Their clothes are often white with coloured belts across the chest. The dancers may shake white handkerchiefs or bang short sticks together as part of the dance.

But dancing isn’t all that takes place on May Day; the May Queen is also crowned on this day. She represents the Roman Goddess Flora, the goddess of fruit and flowers, and is often a local schoolgirl. By tradition, the Queen takes no part in games or dancing, but sits in a flower-decked chair to watch her ‘subjects’. But that’s not all, did you know…

  • The tallest maypole was built in London on the Strand in 1661 and stood over 143 feet high
  • The Mayfair area of London was named after the two-week long May Fair held in the Shepherd Market area between 1686 and 1764
  • In Italy, May Day is regarded as the happiest day of the year
  • According to tradition, women are supposed to wash their faces in dew on May morning to improve their beauty
  • May 1 is also a national holiday in Russia and Asian countries such as China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

That’s May Day, but what about Spring Bank Holiday? Well, if you’re looking for a way to celebrate the long weekend at the end of May, then you’re in luck. Nottingham Food and Drink Festival is taking place at Nottingham Castle between 27th – 29th May 2017.

Head down to the Castle and you’ll find a variety of bars offering everything from real ale and cider to prosecco. So, no matter what your tipple is, you’re sure to find it all at the festival. There’s even a double decker bus bar with a range of drinks on offer and great seating at the top of the bus.

But drinks aren’t all that’s being served at the festival. There will be up to 100 stands selling a variety of hot and cold food for you to enjoy throughout the day. As well as a large range of high quality handmade crafts and gifts for you to browse and buy.

Tickets are available in advance for just £8.00, and that gives you access to the festival, the castle grounds, museum and galleries. Plus, they’ll be live entertainment to enjoy throughout the weekend with music in the bandstand every day from 10am – 5pm.

And for all our residents at Lace Market Studios, you’ll be pleased to know that the food and drink festival is only a short 14-minute walk – meaning you won’t have far to go to indulge in some tasty food and drinks!

To find out how you can join our thriving student community at Lace Market Studios please contact us today on 01158 240 590 or lacemarketstudios@host-students.com.