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It’s May Day

Happy May 1st, also known as May Day. About the only thing I can recall about May Day is people dancing around the May Pole. Why do they do that?

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

According to Wikipedia, here’s a look at May Day traditions:

“The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe.

A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May.

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.

Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours’ doorsteps.”

 

 

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