Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy May Day!!

I never realized what May Day was all about until I recently started looking it up.... It holds lots of significance depending on where you live and what frame of mind you're in.

For example -

May Day is a very old Pagan holiday, (a.k.a. Beltane), is designated as a holiday to promote and celebrate fertility. It is also a chance to celebrate the end of the cold winter months, as the first day of May was also the beginning of summer. People would eat, drink and make merry...lots of it from what I gather! They would made sacrifices of foods & flowers and would dance around bon fires in hopes of being blessed & increasing fertility. This is also where dancing around the May Pole originated.

Christians trying to suppress the Pagan fertility rights designated it as an opportunity to honor Mary, mother of Jesus. Apparently, her b-day is this month sometime.

It is also important to Labor Activists. In 1887, it was designated International Worker's Day, to commemorate the mass labor protests that took place in Chicago in 1886, which came to be known as the Haymarket Riots. These along with other demonstrations led to the eight hour work day, an immense victory for workers in the United States. Communists and Socialists around the world commemorate May Day with marches, speeches, and festivals.

Apparently now May Day in the US has been designated as "Loyalty Day" to disassociate it from communist & socialist festivals. Citizens are encouraged to demonstrate their love for their country on the first of May.

Actually, I never knew most of this stuff...I knew about the Pagan stuff because I like to read historical romance novels (castle & knight stuff) ;) but the rest was very eye opening. I just thought May Day was to celebrate Spring/nice weather after a long cold winter!

So...Happy May Day....take it for what you will...


  1. Oh I just love me a good pagan celebration! For some reason I am drawn to events like the full moon, the solstice, outdoor bon fires, dancing, and anything celebrating nature! Even though I am a non-practicing Catholic (Jack Catholic?) - I am a pagan at heart....
    Thanks for the research!

  2. do do do do (*twilight zone music*) I just wrote in my journal a couple of hours ago about this very topic! I was remembering when I was very, very little (toddler through pre-school prolly) that we celebrated May Day by making little paper baskets, filling them with candy and small trinkets and then hanging them anonymously on neighbor's doors. Also, remember "Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posies...?" That reminds me of May Day, too. I concluded my journal by saying I need to ask my mom about it and see what she remembers about why we did those things. It's a sweet childhood memory I have.

    Happy May Day everyone!

    P.S. Those little May Day baskets could be my first paper projects. I've loved paper and school / supplies since as long as I can remember. Neat, huh? Well, I think so... LOL


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!