Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day - A Celebration of Spring

May Day History
May 1 was an important holiday for the Druids of the British Isles. It was thought that the day divides the year into half. It was celebrated by the setting of a new fire, an ancient New Year rite performed throughout the world. This fire was thought to lend life to the welcomed springtime sun.

Enter the Romans - The beginning of May was a popular Roman feast time devoted primarily to Flora, the goddess of fertility, flowers, and spring.

By the Middle Ages every English village had its Maypole. Trees were considered a symbol of the great vitality and fertility of nature and were often used in spring festivals; so the bringing in of the Maypole from the woods was done with much merrymaking.
Over time May Day became more of a day of joy and merriment for children, rather than a day of observing the ancient rights.



Because the Puritans of the New World frowned on May Day, it has never been celebrated with as much enthusiasm in the U.S. as in Great Britain. Yet today children still celebrate May Day by following the old European traditions of dancing back and forth around a pole with colorful streamers, choosing a May queen, and hanging May baskets on doorknobs.
Happy May Day!

1 comment:

Rosie Cotton said...

Great post! Thank you for sharing :)