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May Day in Oxford


Here in Oxford May Day morning is a big deal.

People from all over the county join visitors from all over the world to welcome in the summer. It starts early at 6am with the Magdalen College Choir singing a hymn, the Hymnus Eucharisticus, from the top of Magdalen Tower, a tradition of over 500 years. Spectators gather along high street and Magdalen bridge in varying degrees of sobriety (it is also customary to stay up all night beforehand).

Since the 1980’s it has also been tradition for students to jump off Magdalen bridge, that was until in 2005 someone was paralysed when the river was particularly low.

However, it is not just an event recognised and cherished by the Universities. Local people and visitors alike gather in a joyful atmosphere and we at Design for Social Change have certainly embraced the practice.

We hope that it continues for another 500 years.

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