Saturday, April 30, 2011

May Day

When I was young, my grandmother used to mention that it was May Day on May 1st. I never was quite sure why she held this day as important in any way, so I decided to do a little investigating on May Day. All I knew was about the children dancing around the May Day pole, but I never gave much thought to its significance as far as history goes. So this is what I found out about this day.

Well, it is a fact that May Day, which the children do enjoy with all vibes, is not an overly prominent holiday in America. Yet, it does have a long and notable history as one of the world's principal festivals. The origin of the May Day as a day for celebration dates back to the days, even before the birth of Christ. And like many ancient festivals it too has a Pagan connection.

For the Druids of the British Isles, May 1 was the second most important holiday of the year. Because, it was when the festival of Beltane was held. It was thought that the day divides the year into half. The other half was to be ended with the Samhain on November 1. Those days the May Day custom was the setting of new fire. It was one of those ancient New Year rites performed throughout the world. And the fire itself was thought to lend life to the burgeoning springtime sun. Cattle were driven through the fire to purify them. Men, with their sweethearts, passed through the smoke for seeing good luck.

Then the Romans came to occupy the British Isles. The beginning of May was a very popular feast time for the Romans. It was devoted primarily to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers. It was in her honor a five day celebration, called the Floralia, was held. The five day festival would start from April 28 and end on May 2. The Romans brought in the rituals of the Floralia festival in the British Isles. And gradually the rituals of the Floralia were added to those of the Beltane. And many of today's customs on the May Day bear a stark similarity with those combined traditions.

May day observance was discouraged during the Puritans. Though, it was relived when the Puritans lost power in England, it didn't have the same robust force. Gradually, it came to be regarded more as a day of joy and merriment for the kids, rather than a day of observing the ancient fertility rights.

Roots of May Day celebration in America:

The Puritans frowned on May Day, so the day has never been celebrated with as much enthusiasm in the United States as in Great Britain. But the tradition of celebrating May Day by dancing and singing around a maypole, tied with colorful streamers or ribbons, survived as a part of the English tradition. The kids celebrating the day by moving back and forth around the pole with the the streamers, choosing of May queen, and hanging of May baskets on the doorknobs of folks -- are all the leftovers of the old European traditions.

Hope you find this interesting, the only remembrance that sounds familiar is the part about hanging the May basket on the door . I don`t remember her doing anything in particular or special on this day. It was probably just a celebration of Spring to her.

I have found some gorgeous springtime finds in shades of purple on Etsy today, enjoy!

Happy May Day!

And For Mothers Day remember to use coupon code
 when shopping at 
Au Naturelle
to save 10 percent off your purchases.

And if you`re making a soap purchase you will receive a free drawstring soap bag with your purchase throughout the month of May.

If shopping at Scorpion Moon Designs
use coupon code
and save 10 percent off of your purchase.

As Always
Keep It Clean!


  1. Thanks for including my lavender photo in your post today. Really interesting information, and a lovely collection of Etsy treasures.

  2. I enjoyed reading this. Very well written!