May Day is an important holiday all over the world and has different significances for different countries and people. Generally though it is a day of celebration.
The earliest celebrations date back to pre-Christian times with a celebration around Flora (no NOT the margarine) but the goddess of flowers, fertility and spring.
As a Pagan holiday May Day was a day to celebrate fertility and the end of the cold winter months.
Large bonfires were lit and people travelled between bonfires in order to be blessed by increased fertility (cattle was also driven between bonfires for the same reason, not sure if the ‘steak went on the fire’ once they arrived).
Celebrations also included dancing around the May Pole, traditionally danced by young girls covered in ribbons and flowers and the crowning of the May Queen.
Since the twentieth century one tradition was to give a ‘May basket’ filled with sweets and flowers. These were left anonymously on the doorsteps of neighbours. Sadly, this tradition has faded although here in Spain our neighbours still leave fruit and veg on any day of the year. (See previous post ‘Cannabis or Camomile’).
Here is Spain, today is ‘Labour Day’, ironic that everyone stops work then!!
What’s happening where you are?
What traditions are still practiced in your neck of the woods?
Whatever you are doing, have a great day.