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.
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.