There are a few special traditions that occur at this time of year, including:
– In the village of Brockworth, people assemble on Cooper’s Hill on Spring Bank Holiday to take part in a race in pursuit of large, round pieces of cheese as they roll down the steep hillside. Whoever finishes first in this “cheese race” wins an eight-pound wheel of Double Gloucester. Due to occasional injuries, some years, the event has been cancelled or the cheese-rolling has been done without anyone chasing.
– In the village of Endon, the villagers celebrate by dressing up the local well, crowning a local maiden as the “Well-Dressing Queen,” and a “Tossing the Sheaf” contest is engaged in by the men. This means that straw bales are tossed into the air, and whoever can toss his bale highest wins.
Three alternative events you may wish to attend, besides those listed above, are:
– The Brighton Festival, which is held in late May and ends on May 24th. Located seaside to the English Channel, the event involves musical and theatrical performances, dances, a circus, art displays, films, storytelling sessions for children, and more.
– The Hay Festival, which is the U.K.’s premier literary festival. This event runs until May 31st and is a celebration of the literary and performing arts. There are poetry recitations, famous authors and performers who give speeches, various workshops, and much more.
– In Cornwall, the narrow peninsula at the west end of England, you can attend Helston Flora Day on May 8th. Again, there is cheese-chasing, a tradition that hails back to Roman days. There is also dancing under a maypole, “worm-charming,” and performance of a play involving St. George slaying a dragon.
For any further ideas check out The Daily Telegraphs “17 brilliant things to do during the May bank holidays“