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May Day Parade

Aside from the observance of Labor Day, there's actually another popular well-known festivity being celebrated during May 1, which is the May Day celebrations that date back to pre-Christian times? Never heard of it? Well read on to find out more about its origins!

May Day, as the name suggests is celebrated on May 1. It is an ancient spring festival making it in some countries, a public holiday.

It is typically related to the Celtic festival of Beltane as well as the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. The earliest celebrations of May Day were during the pre-Christian times, during the festival of Flora (the Roman goddess of flowers) and the aforementioned Walpurgis Night celebrations of Germanic countries. The celebration falls exactly half a year from the 1st of November, a time which is associated with various northern European pagans. And as Europe became Christianized, such pagan holidays were turned from religious to secular celebrations, like what happened to May Day. In the 20th century, a lot of neopagans started to celebrate May Day again as a religious pagan festival once again.

The more secular version of May Day is celebrated in Europe (in countries like Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Finland, and Sweden) and America (Hawaii), wherein the most popular tradition is doing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May. Different neopagan groups celebrate various versions of these customs on the 1st of May.

Here’s some May Day music:


bq."People around the world celebrate the beginning of May (May Day) by doing the Maypole Dance.They pick flowers and dress in white (but any color is OK)and wear flowers in their hair and dance around a tall pole with long brightly colored ribbons. By skipping around the pole in opposite directions and weaving in and out ‘til all the ribbon is wrapped. The celebration continues with singing and eating. A fun day. In early America it was called “Loyality Day”. Either way, it’s a fun way to bring in spring." – mezskr4 on YouTube

Got any May Day experiences to share? Write about it for our Locations section!

written by ungrumpy

1 comment

  1. neanderthalis

    neanderthalis

    May Day is Lei Day in Hawai'i Nae :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam