Happy May Day Bank Holiday Weekend
May Day, officially known as Early May Day Bank Holiday, is a combination of two holidays in the UK:
1) An ancient celebration of Spring, rebirth, and fertility
2) International Workers' Day, also known as Labour Day
Traditionally May Day involved dancing around a May pole, crowning a May Queen, Morris dancing and celebrating the oncoming of Summer.
A young tree would be felled and erected to dance around in celebration. Ribbons and flower garlands would add to a colourful display.
In 1890 the May Bank Holiday became associated with International Workers’ Day, which is about workers' rights.
The origins of May festivities goes back to the Roman day Floralia, celebrating Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers.
Later, the day was marked by the Catholic church for devotions to the Virgin Mary, Queen of May, in the 18th century.
May Day in Britain likely began on the Celtic astronomical holiday, marking the seasonal changes with singing, dancing, yellow May flowers, bonfires and the maypole.
An old tradition is the anonymous May basket drop off. In the 19th and 20th centuries people would drop a basket of spring flowers and treats on their neighbours doorsteps, knock and run away.
We are hoping our neighbours may revive this tradition!
#mayday #maypole #spring #summer #celebration #labourday