THOUSANDS of people are expected to take to the streets of Oxford for the city's annual May Day celebrations.

The celebrations on Sunday, May 1, signal the coming of spring, and to mark the occasion visitors will enjoy Morris dancing, a traditional choral performance and live music.

Magdalen Bridge will also be open for the sixth year running, but students have been warned not to take part in the tradition of jumping from the bridge into the shallow River Cherwell.

It will be the first time since 2011 that the event is held on a weekend.

Celebrations will begin at 6am with the choristers of Magdalen Choir singing Hymnus Eucharisticus from the top of the college's tower.

The hymn was composed in the 17th century and is sung from the tower every year.

Bells will then be rung out across the city for about 20 minutes.

Throughout the morning there will be events held throughout the city, including Morris dancing in Broad Street, Radcliffe Square and Catte Street.

Many bars and restaurants will also be open for breakfast.

Oxford City Council corporate lead for culture and events Peter McQuitty said: "May Morning is one of the local traditions that makes Oxford such an exciting place to live and work.

"People should be aware that there will be a lot of people on Magdalen Bridge at 6am this year, so please make sure that you look after yourself and those around you."

Jumping from the bridge is believed to started in the 1980s, but the bridge was closed on each May Day morning from 2006 to 2011.

The decision came after about 40 people were injured when diving into the water in 2005.

The bridge will be closed to traffic from 3am.

Other road closures from 3am to 9am include High Street from The Plain to King Edward Street, Longwall Street from its junction at High Street to south of the entrance to Magdalen College, and Rose Lane.

Merton Street and Queen's Lane will also be closed at their junction to High Street.

South Central Ambulance Service spokesman David Gallagher said: "We hope everyone enjoys the May Day celebrations this year in Oxford and by doing so responsibly, it should ensure that no revellers need to call on our services.

"Historically, a number of people have been injured jumping off Magdalen Bridge during the festivities and we would urge people not to do so."

He explained that there would be little way of knowing how deep the water is and what is underneath, while the likely cold temperatures could cause panic attacks.

Oxford City Council spokesman Tom Jennings said barriers would be put on the bridge and security will there to stop anyone trying to jump, as with previous years.