Happy May Day, HollywoodLifers! The first day of May is a traditional holiday to celebrate the arrival of good weather and cheer, worldwide. Click through to learn five important facts about this underrated holiday!
Who doesn’t love a good holiday? While May Day is a celebration that has happened worldwide for centuries, it’s still a little mysterious. Not religious, not secular, it’s a little both, and it’s celebrated every May 1! Click through to find out five important facts about May Day!
There’s a reason why it’s celebrated on May 1
In pre-Christian European pagan cultures, May Day was a traditional summer holiday, and held on May 1 because it was the first day of summer. No better logic than that!
It’s been celebrated since the Roman Republic era
May Day has roots in many countries’ traditions, but the modern May Day stems from celebrations that happened all the way back in the Roman Republic: the Floralia, festival of Flora, which honored the Roman goddess of flowers. It was also the day of the Gaelic summer festival, Beltrane, which is still celebrated in some parts of Ireland today.
It changed significantly after the rise of Christianity
As Europe became christianized, the pagan tradition shifted to the secular celebration that resembles what we know now. May Day is now a lighthearted, day to celebrate spring and the arrival of summer. But just like in the pagan era, festivities still differ from location to location.
The holiday is best symbolized by the maypole
The significance of the maypole is still mired in mystery, but the decoration is still used all over the world to celebrate May Day. During a typical May Day party, partiers will hold ribbons and dance around the maypole. Some people anonymously send each other “may baskets,” which are full of candy and flowers.
Germany has the biggest May Day celebration
In rural parts of Germany, the pagan Walpurgis Night traditions are still celebrated, in which people go wild and party! In addition to the Walpurgis and May Day festivities, Germans also celebrate St. Walburga, who is credited with bringing Christianity to Germany.
HollywoodLifers, are you celebrating May Day? Tell us in the comments!