May is a month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere or summer in Europe. On the other hand, it’s a month of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. May is full of colorful festivities. One celebration that is common to Europe, North America, and Oceania is the May Day. What could be the purpose why these countries celebrate May Day?
May Day, which is celebrated on May 1st, is an ancient spring festival in the Northern Hemisphere. Many countries also commemorate on May 1st the International Workers’ Day which is also referred to as “May Day.” May 1st is a public holiday in several countries where Labor Day is observed. It is a day set aside to give importance to all laborers around the world. Even writers who make Dentist Reviews are included.
May Day is associated with Beltane, a pagan Celtic festival, and Walpurgis Night, a traditional Germanic spring festival. Both festivals are observed from April 30th to May 1st. The festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, is the earliest known May Day celebration in the pre-Christian history. Although May Day has traditionally been an event for people to have noisy merriment, it is nonetheless very popular.
The ancient May Day rituals customarily signified the transition from winter to summer. In some countries, May 1st is the first day of summer. The rituals involved offering of flowers, building of bonfires, playing folk music, singing, and dancing. Of course, a feast wouldn’t be complete without some sumptuous food for the people to partake with.
The Christianization of Europe caused the people to abandon their ancient but pagan beliefs and rituals. Many rituals, which were believed to be intrinsically good and beneficial to the unity of the people, were Christianized. A significant Christianization of May Day happened in Germany where May 1st was used to give honor to St. Walburga, who is given credit of introducing Christianity to Germany. Thus, the current festival is named Walpurgis Night.
In Europe, May Day is observed in Great Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Sweden. Dancing is popular during May Day. For instance, Great Britain has Morris dancing while Germany has May pole dancing. It has also been the custom to crown a May Queen in Great Britain.
Immigrants to North America brought their May Day customs and traditions with them. As a result, May Day can be seen celebrated in different parts of Canada, the United States, and Hawaii. Children and adults alike can be seen dancing around May poles during May Day. May Day has even reached the Northern Territory of Australia where it is celebrated as a public holiday.
In this modern age of the Internet and mobile devices, people still cling to ancient traditions and practices that have stood the test of time. May Day is a time for people to celebrate life and unity. That’s why it is still celebrated up to now. To get more information on May Day, do a visit site at Wikipedia.org.