The Many Meanings of “May Day”

Wow, it is the first day of May already.  Does anyone else feel as if these 5 months have flown by? Are you also in awe by the fact we are almost halfway through 2014? It seems as if we were just welcoming in the New Year and here we stand on the threshold of summer.

Once over the initial shock of April ending, I began to consider May 1 aka “May Day.”  It seems that over the years we have all heard about the May pole, May baskets, and other such events occurring on this day; however, what is the real meaning behind “May Day?”

It did not take long to find some information about this day and why some still consider it a holiday.  This date and the term “May Day” has many more meanings than many of us may be aware.

May Pole, Dancing, May Day, spring, summer
Dancing around the May Pole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“May Day” is:

1)      A pagan holiday celebrating the coming of summer as well as the goddess, Bel.  This celebration revolves around rebirth and fertility.

2)      International Workers’ Day from the late 19th century in America.  Workers were fighting for the right to receive better wage as well as an 8 hour work day.  The employees of big business were working long hours for minimal pay and as a result many people died trying to feed their families.

3)      A celebration of the first day of spring in medieval England.  Here is where we can see the beginning of May baskets and May poles.  Everyone would pick flowers to welcome in spring and they would even crown a May Queen.  There were dances around the May poles, which were decorated with flowers and greenery.

4)      A celebration of the goddess Flora in cultures found within India and Egypt areas.  This is another fertility focused event although it celebrates spring instead of summer and lasts a week rather than one day.

With all of these festivities occurring in and around this one day, how will you celebrate?  Do you have a specific tradition for “May Day” or is it simply another day in your household?

Here is where I found my information and if you would like more information on “May Day” please see:

May Day: A Cornucopia of Holidays

Origins of May Day

If you would like to purchase wooden planters to create your own special May baskets, please feel free to join us at http://www.coopersmithandson.com

 

 

 

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