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Happy May Day!!!

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1 Re: Happy May Day!!! on Fri May 01, 2015 4:52 pm

Kino

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WOW1 That is some great information freyasmom Thanks



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2 Happy May Day!!! on Fri May 01, 2015 2:36 pm

freyasmom

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May 1


Happy MAY DAY!  Fun facts and trivia ..............


(Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Day for more traditions celebrated on May Day all over the world!)


The first day of the month of May is known as May Day. It is the time of year when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees start to blossom. It is said to be a time of love and romance. It is when people celebrate the coming of summer with lots of different customs that are expressions of joy and hope after a long winter.


Traditional May Day origins and celebrations




The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane, most commonly held on April 30. The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of Spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer.



As Europe became Christianised, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and May Day changed into a popular secular celebration. A significant celebration of May Day occurs in Germany where it is one of several days on which St. Walburga, credited with bringing Christianity to Germany, is celebrated. The secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors' doorsteps.



Since the 18th Century, many Roman Catholics have observed May — and May Day — with various May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary's head will often be adorned with flowers in a May crowning. May 1 is also one of two feast days of the Catholic patron saint of workers St Joseph the Worker, a carpenter, husband to Mother Mary, and surrogate father of Jesus. Replacing another feast to St. Joseph, this date was chosen by the Pope Pius XII in 1955 to create as a counterpoint to the Communist International Workers Day celebrations on May Day.


Beginning in the late 20th century, many neopagans began reconstructing traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival


Roman festival of Flora

Although summer does not officially begin until June, May Day really marks its beginning. May Day celebrations have their origins in the Roman festival of Flora, goddess of fruit and flowers, which marked the beginning of summer. It was held annually from April 28th to May 3rd.



A traditional May day dance is known as Maypole Dancing. On May day, people used to cut down young trees and stick them in the ground in the village to mark the arrival of summer. People danced around them in celebration of the end of winter and the start of the fine weather that would allow planting to begin.


Maypoles were once common all over England and were kept from one year to the next. Schools would practice skipping round the pole for weeks before the final show on the village greens. The end results would be either a beautiful plaited pattern of ribbons round the pole or a tangled cat's cradle, depending on how much rehearsing had been done.



How was May Day Celebrated in the past?



It was custom for every one to go a-Maying early on May Day. Herrick, a 17th century English poet wrote:



There's not a budding boy, or girl, this day,
But is got up, and gone to bring in May.



Decorating Houses



May Day began early in the morning. People would go out before sunrise in order to gather flowers and greenery to decorate their houses and villages with in the belief that the vegetation spirits would bring good fortune.



Washing in the early morning dew


Girls would make a special point of washing their faces in the dew of the early morning. They believed this made them very beautiful for the following year.

May Queen

The rest of the day was given over to various festivities. There was dancing on the village green, archery contest and exhibitions of strength. The highlight of the day was the crowning of the May Queen, the human replica of Flora. By tradition she took no part in the games or dancing, but sat like a queen in a flower-decked chair to watch her 'subjects'.


May Day Garlands



Young girls would make May Garlands. They covered two hoops, one at right angles inside the other, with leaves and flowers, and sometimes they put a doll inside to represent the goddess of Spring.

In some parts of Britain, May 1st is called Garland Day.

The first of May is Garland Day
So please remember the garland.
We don't come here but once a year,
So please remember the garland.



May Day Lifting



There was once a tradition in England of 'lifting' where a gang of young men would lift a pretty girl in a flower bedecked chair on May day. Then the girl would choose a boy on May 2nd.



May Day Tricks

In the North of England, the first of May was a kind of late 'April Fooling' when all sorts of pranks would take place and 'May Gosling' was the shout if you managed to trick someone. The response would be:

'May Goslings past and gone. You're the fool for making me one!'



Where am I going? And why am I in this hand basket!!!?
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