Morris dancing was part of many social events in rural English towns. Although the dancing was for entertainment purposes, it was also quite theatrical, and dancers often worked for months preparing for a single event. Morris dancing is symbolic, and the dance tells a story, with each dancer playing the part of a specific character. Unlike traditional country dances, in which anyone could participate, a Morris dance was a spectator event. It was used to celebrate special occasions and holidays - events like Whitsun, Beltane, Michaelmas, or even a wake or funeral.