This article describes the traditions of May Day and how the May 1st celebration began.
With winter’s retreat, colts and calves kick up their heels and frisk over fresh grass, seedlings seek the sun, and birds call for mates….
And we humans join their revels for one day: during spring’s “May Day” festival, even serious-minded folk put work aside to enjoy Nature’s exuberance!
Origins of May Day
The ancient Celts called it “Beltane”—this day halfway between spring and summer that coincides with the return of fertility to the earth.
Young people would wake on Beltane morning knowing that they could be paired with a mate by sundown! If their courtship continued, the wedding would occur six weeks later, on June’s Midsummer’s Day.
The Maypole Dance
These same young people likely participated in the fertility rites of Beltane by dancing around a living tree to celebrate the fecundity of their community…
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