Happy May Day!

Dancing around the May Pole was one of many traditions. The May Pole symbolizes male fertility, while wreaths and baskets symbolize female fertility.
Song on May Morning
John Milton - 1608-1674


Now the bright morning Star, Dayes harbinger,
  Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
  The Flowry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow Cowslip, and the pale Primrose.
  Hail bounteous May that dost inspire 
  Mirth and youth, and warm desire,
  Woods and Groves, are of thy dressing,
  Hill and Dale, doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early Song,
And welcom thee, and wish thee long.  
Pale primrose

May First was once considered the most important day of the year. It signaled the return of light and fertility. It was one of the year’s several fire festivals.

To the Celts of Britain, May first was known as Beltane. The name Beltane means the fires of Bel. Belinos was one of the names of the Sun God.

To ancient Romans, May first was known as Floralia, a five day festival to honor Flora, the goddess of flowers.

During the 19th and 20th centuries May First was May Basket Day when people created baskets with flowers, candy, and other treats and hung on the doorknobs of friends, neighbors and loved ones.

This tradition has been going on since 1929.

Too bad this is a silent film. It looks like fun.

2 thoughts on “Happy May Day!”

  1. Fascinating. Every year on May Day since one of my neighbor girls was small, there has been something left on my door. Today it was lilacs. She must be 9 or 10 now. Ever faithful. And lilac smell SO GOOD.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Colleen! I’m glad you thought my post is fascinating. You’re lucky to have such a thoughtful young lady for a neighbor carry on such a delightful tradition. I love the aroma of lilacs.

      Liked by 1 person

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