May Day – May Day!

Maypole Dance, May Day

Image Credit bournvillevillage.com

It’s May Day! No, we’re not talking about a distress signal (S.O.S) from an airplane or ship, but a festival that we observe on the first day of May that is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival. How many of you remember dancing around the Maypole? Oh what fun it was to grab the end of one of those colorful streamers that draped down the tall pole and merrily do the May Dance with excitement! Different countries have their own traditional designs of the Maypole that may not drape with multicolored streamers like I’m used to.

According to Wikipedia:

May Day on May 1, is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the celebrations that the day includes.

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane, most commonly held on April 30. The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of Spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer.

Wherever you are and whenever your traditional May Day celebration is, enjoy the essence of ushering in the warmth of the new season! Happy May Day everyone!

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