May 1st

Happy May Day!

For those of you lost, May Day is a celebration that originates from two different places… Most recently from celebrations similar to U.S. Labor Day, and often referred to as Labour Day or International Workers’ Day in other countries. In the U.S., it originally commemorated the beginning of a standard 8-hour work day (as opposed to much longer) that was secured by a combination of unions and other labor-related groups. It originally was tied to remembrance of the Haymarket Affair, a police riot in Chicago during a strike in which several protesters were shot or later executed. The federal government instituted the holiday to draw attention away from the traditional celebrations tied to labor movements.

It’s also a group of traditional festivals from Celtic and Germanic cultures dating to pre-Christian ceremonies surrounding Beltane. The focus of those celebrations is in early May, and varies with the most important day occurring May 5-7. Some groups have heavily secularized the holiday, and others celebrate it as a religious tradition. This is where the May Pole originates.

Saturday ~ May 1, 2010 by b

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