Today is May Day! People have been celebrating the first of May
for hundreds of years, but for two very different reasons. Our modern
observances have both “green roots” and “red roots.” For some people,
May Day is a celebration of spring—a tradition that comes from the Pagan
festival of Beltane. (These are the “green” traditions.) For others,
May Day is a celebration of workers’ rights, marked by rallies, parades,
and marches. In 1958, President Eisenhower declared that the second
type of May Day celebrations were communist (hence, the name “red
roots”), and created a new holiday called Law Day to take its place.
One of the most popular May Day traditions is the maypole dance,
which was created by the ancient druids of the British Isles. During the
Beltane festival, people performed a circle dance around a pole. The
dance evolved over the years to include the ribbons and standard weaving
patterns we still use today.
Celebrate the rich history of May Day by attending a May Day
festival, listening to traditional maypole music, or bringing a bouquet
of May Day flowers to a loved one!
Happy May Day
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