May Day!!

01 May 2017

oatlands_school_maypole

As Europe became Christianised, May Day became a popular civil celebration.

May Day is a big event in Germany, it is one day of many which celebrates St Walburga. The materialised versions of May Day in Europe and America maybe best known for children and adults alike dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May. However the popularity of the giving of May Baskets (small baskets of flowers or sweets being left anonymously on neighbour’s doorsteps) has faded in the past century.

May Day has been a traditional day of fun and games throughout the centuries. May Day is most identified 13055519_10153766239709737_2115871415400439403_nwith towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, and people) Seeding has usually been completed and it is ideal to give farm labourers a day off.

May Day (May 1st) is not a public holiday in the United Kingdom unless it falls on a Monday. In 2011 it was reported that the government were trying to scrap the holiday and replace it with one in October ‘United Kingdom Day’. Unlike other Bank Holidays, the first Monday in May is taken off by schools and it not part of the term time holidays. This is due to it not being a Christian holiday.

article-2317557-1991140B000005DC-108_964x641In Somerset, a May Day Festival is held on the Bank Holiday Monday, with BBC Somerset covering the event in 2011. The festival includes traditional maypole dancing and Morris Dancers as well as live music.

There is a Mayday Run that involves thousands of motorcyclists being part of 55 mile journey from London to the East Sussex seafront of Hastings. This trip has been made for the past 30 years and grows in size and interest each year.

 

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