Happy May Day!

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beltane card May Day, the first of May, is significant for several reasons. It’s a traditional Pagan holiday, dating back to pre-christian Europe, and celebrates the return of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It is still celebrated with bonfires, folk dancing (such as Morris Dancing in England), May Poles, and the crowning of the May Queen. May Day festivities generally include flowers, food, drink, and general revelry, as well as jubilant events to mark the end of winter.

May Basket green man
hawthorn notebook

In addition to being a celebration of Spring, May Day is also International Workers’ Day. Workers and Labor Unions around the world hold parades and events to celebrate the achievements of the labor movement, and to raise awareness of current labor issues. It is also sometimes a day of protest.

rosie bag tool box rosie glass

In some places, these two themes are combined, to create one big festival to celebrate the arrival of Spring, the natural environment, and the accomplishments and importance of workers in society. In my city, Minneapolis, a wonderful, creative, puppet theatre company, In the Heart of the Beast, puts on a parade and festival in a city park, which does an amazing job of combining these themes. Each year’s theme is slightly different, but the idea is the same – celebrating both the natural world and the importance of human energy and work in making a better world for all.

I am really looking forward to this year’s May Day festivities here in Minneapolis. What will you be doing to mark the occasion?

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  1. Amanda says:

    I, too, will be celebrating here in Minneapolis at HOTB’s parade and performance at Powderhorn Park. I love May Day! It’s such a great opportunity for the whole community to get together after a long 8-month freeze.

  2. batgirl says:

    Yay for Minneapolis Craftsters and HOTB!

  3. kittykill says:

    Yeah for May Day! Fight the power and plant a flower!