Well, it is a fact that May Day, which the
children do enjoy with all vibes, is not an overly prominent holiday
America. Yet, it does have a long and notable history as one of the
world's principal festivals.
The origin of the May Day as a day for celebration dates back to the
even before the birth of Christ. And like many ancient festivals it
a Pagan connection.
For the Druids of the British Isles, May 1 was the second most
important holiday of the year. Because, it was when the festival of
Beltane held. It was thought that the day divides the year into
half. The other half was to be ended with the Samhain on November 1.
days the May Day custom was the setting of new fire. It was one of
those ancient New Year rites performed
throughout the world. And the fire itself was thought to lend life to
the burgeoning springtime sun.
Cattle were driven through the fire to purify them. Men, with their
sweethearts, passed through the smoke for
seeing good luck.
Then the Romans came to occupy the British Isles. The beginning of
May was a very popular feast time for the Romans. It was devoted
primarily to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers. It was in her
honor a five day celebration, called the Floralia, was held. The five
day festival would start from April 28 and end on May 2.
The Romans brought in the rituals of the Floralia festival in the
Isles. And gradually the rituals of the Floralia were added to those
of the Beltane.
And many of today's customs on the May Day bear a stark similarity
those combined traditions.
May day observance was discouraged during the Puritans. Though, it
relived when the Puritans lost power in England, it didn't have the
same robust force.
Gradually, it came to be regarded more as a day of joy and merriment
for the kids,
rather than a day of observing the ancient fertility rights.