Happy May Day

Author: Miranda /

Yep, two posts in one day, I am trying to catch up for lost time now that things are kind of back to normal..heehee

So Happy May Day to everyone, as I was thinking of what to write about I realized I didn't really know the history or origin of May Day so a quick look at Wikipedia and bam, there's my answer. Here is a short version, but if you want to read the whole thing and what it means to each country, then just go HERE

Traditional May Day Celebrations

May Day is associated with the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls exactly half of a year from November 1, another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European pagan and neopagan festivals such as Samhain. May Day marks the end of the uncomfortable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations, regardless of the locally prevalent political or religious establishment.
As Europe became Christianized the
pagan holidays lost their religious character and either changed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were replaced by new Christian holidays as with Christmas, Easter, and All Saint's Day. In the twentieth century, many neopagans began reconstructing the old traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival again.


The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian, with the festival of Flora the Roman Goddess of flowers, 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 and crowning of the Queen of the May. Various Neopagan groups celebrate reconstructed (to varying degrees) versions of these customs on 1 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. In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary's month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary's head will often be adorned with flowers. 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.

I remember years ago when I lived on the farm, mom would help me pick little purple flowers or whatever we could find and put in a little basket or paper basket and I would run over and leave it on my Grandpa's door. (he lived right across the road from us) I thought I was being so sneaky putting it on the door and running away. I think I may make up a couple of paper baskets with the boys today and we'll find some little flowers to put in them with a note saying Happy May Day and put on our neighbor's JC and Miss Hallie's doors this afternoon. (as long as the rain stays away)

What are you going to do for May Day? Why not surprise your neighbor with a small May Day surprise!


Mics AKA Lunatiger said...

Wow I didn't know anything about this...I love a good history lesson ^_^

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Mother of two boys, military wife, and woman extraordinaire. This revamped blog is just thoughts and tidbits from my head on an occasional basis. Sometimes crafty, sometimes intelligent, and sometimes just plain funny. Friends, family, fun.



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