Oxford

Thousands attend May morning celebration in Oxford

Crowds at Magdalen College
Image caption More than 13,000 people attended this year's event

Thousands of people gathered in the centre of Oxford for the city's traditional May morning celebration.

The annual event celebrating spring dates back centuries and sees crowds congregate outside Magdalen College at 06:00 BST.

Bells rung out across the city for about 20 minutes after choristers sang Hymnus Eucharisticus from the Great Tower of the college.

Oxford City Council said more than 13,000 people had attended.

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Media captionWhat is Oxford's May Morning?

Many believe the origins of the May morning celebration date from around 1505 when the Great Tower at Magdalen College was completed and the college chose to sing in the spring.

The event has taken place each year in its current form since the 17th Century when Hymnus Eucharisticus - the song sung by the choir - was written by Benjamin Rogers.

This year also saw the choir sing the Wizard of Oz classic, Somewhere over the Rainbow.

The May morning celebration continued with Morris dancing and folk singing in Radcliffe Square, Catte Street and Broad Street before roads reopened at 09:00.

Many students choose to stay up all night prior to the celebration and numerous pubs, cafes, and restaurants opened early to provide breakfast and refreshments.

Image copyright RiverM Hathaway
Image caption Dancing continued after the ringing of the bells

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