Blackheath Morris Men's Easter chair lifting in Greenwich is a different kind of Easter tradition

This Is Local London: Easter chair lifting in Greenwich is an ancient Easter tradition with a difference Easter chair lifting in Greenwich is an ancient Easter tradition with a difference

LONG before the first chocolate Easter Egg was cast, another seasonal tradition was commonplace across the country.

There is evidence of Easter Monday Lifting dating back to 73AD and though it has all but died out, the Blackheath Morris Men still carry the torch.

On Monday, April 21, they will tour a handful of locations around Greenwich and groups of them will ritualistically lift women on chairs into the air.

The event was a regular Easter sight all over Britain country until around a hundred years or so ago.

Its origins are mysterious; some believe it is an ancient fertility rite while the Church thought it was a parody of the resurrection so encouraged its cessation.

Blackheath Morris Men’s bagman, Geoff Eva said: “In fact, much older, it consists of the simple compliment being elevated on Eostre's Throne of flowers.

“Eostre was the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring and Fertility, whose name still lingers in the word Easter - her holiday.”

If you are lucky enough to be lifted, take it as a compliment. It means you are considered beautiful.

Traditionally, the lady lifted thanks each of those who lifted her with a kiss.

In some areas, on Easter Tuesday, the ladies lifted the men, who had to leave beer money as well as a kiss.

Catch the Easter Monday Lift in Greenwich:

Noon – Cutty Sark gardens

12.45pm – Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre

1.30pm - Meantime Brewery

2.15pm – Cutty Sark gardens

3pm – Greenwich Market

4pm – Ashburnham Arms

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