HAPPY MAY DAY
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Saturday 1st May 2021
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
HAPPY MAY DAY
Today is the 1st of May. Happy 1st May.
20 Interesting facts about May Day and the month of May that you probably didn’t know:
- The month May was named for Maia, the Greek goddess of fertility.
- The Maypole was made of maple, hawthorn or birch. Usually, make members of the village will select the tallest, straightest tree and erect it in a large and open ground. Some people considered the pole as a symbol of masculinity and flowers and ribbons as feminine.
- May’s birthstone is the emerald which is emblematic of love and success.
- May was once considered a bad luck month to get married. There is a poem that says “Marry in May and you’ll rue the day”.
- The United Kingdom celebrates May as the National Smile Month.
- On May 1, 1931, the Empire State Building was officially opened.
- Rolling in the Hay
The celebration of fertility and abundance led to couples disappearing in the fields and woods for a “roll in the hay,” so to speak — the practice of which promised abundance. In general, it was a day marked by a libidinous mood; excessive promiscuity encouraged increased fertility in general for the year to come.
- It Was Once Banned
Persecution of May Day festivities began as early as the 1600s, and in 1640 the Church ruled against the debauchery when the British Parliament banned the traditions as immoral. A much tamer version was brought back in 1644 under the rule of Charles II.
- Fairy Tale
Some beliefs held that May Day was the last chance for fairies to travel to the Earth.
- Facial Treatments
Tradition dictates that washing one’s face in the dew from May Day morning beautifies the skin.
- A toned down version of the May Day festival was started again in 1640s. Then started the traditions of giving May Baskets. Where small baskets of sweet and flowers would be left anonymously on doors of neighbours. Sadly, the practice has faded since late 20th Century. Let’s bring it back!
- Happy Day
In Italy, May Day is regarded as the happiest day of the year, by some accounts.
- Distress Signals
The international distress signal, “mayday,” has nothing to do with the first of May. It derives from the French venez m’aider, meaning “come help me.”
- Back in the day in Europe, it wasn’t a good May if you didn’t celebrate it with a maypole. In the UK, at least, they were present since at least 1350 AD. Celebrants would erect a long pole and attach flowers, garlands, and strips of fabric to it, around which certain dances would take place.
- May is pretty exclusive when it comes to days of the week. No other month in one single year starts or finishes on the same weekday as May. Basically, if the first of May is on a Friday, and the 31st of May is on a Sunday, no other months in the year will start or end on a Friday or a Sunday! Go on, check your calendar.
- In May of 1886, national activist in the USA started a national strike to promote eight hour world day. Until today, many labour union conduct strike and protest for their rights.
- According to Old English terms, May is synonymous for “Three Milkings.” Why?? Because May is the time of year when cows needed to be milked up to three times per day, which is a pretty weird fact all in itself!
- According to old superstitions, you should not buy a broom, or wash blankets in May or cast a clout until May is out.
- Magdalen College Choir
A lovely custom in Oxford has become one of the more popular and loveliest May Day ceremonies to date. The original buildings of the college itself have changed little since they were built at the end of the 15th century. The square tower which dominates the city of Oxford near Magdalen Bridge over the River Cherwell has a peal of ten bells. In the early hours of the morning at about 6.00 am the Choristers climb 144 feet to the top of the tower to welcome the sunrise by singing madrigals to the crowd below. There are other hymns and a peal of bells before the Morris Dancers take over for the next 2-3 hours. Along with this popular form of entertainment, there is beating the bounds and other age-old rituals of merrymaking throughout the city centre, the best news of all is that the pubs open at 7:00am.
- In the former Soviet Union, 1 May was International Workers’ Day and was celebrated with huge parades in cities like Moscow. Though the celebrations are low-key nowadays, several groups march on that day to protest grievances the workers have. Since 1992, May Day is officially called “The Day of Spring and Labour”.
The 1st of May was celebrated illegally in the country until the February Revolution enabled the first legal celebration in 1917. It became an important official holiday of the Soviet Union, celebrated with elaborate popular parade in the centre of the major cities. The biggest celebration was traditionally organized in Red Square, where the General Secretary of the CPSU and other party and government leaders stood atop Lenin’s Mausoleum and waved to the crowds. Until 1969, the holiday was marked by military parades throughout the RSFSR and the union republics.
TOP FIFTEEN OF THE DAY
TOP FIFTEEN CHILDRENS BOOKS ABOUT MAY
- Little Grey Rabbit’s May Day (Little Grey Rabbit Classic) by Alison Uttley
- A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
- The Rainbow Tulip by Pat Mora
- Abracadabra, It’s Spring! (Seasonal Magic) by Anne Sibley O’Brien
- And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano
- In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb by Marion Dane Bauer
- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
- Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
- Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
- Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
- Poppleton in Spring by Cynthia Rylant
- Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons by Il Sung Na
- On the Morn of Mayfest by Erica Silverman
- The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker
- The Sun Egg by Elsa Beskow
TOP TWENTY OF THE DAY
TOP 20 DAYS CELEBRATED ON May 1
- Batman Day
- Bubba Day
- World Naked Gardening Day
- Auctioneers Day
- Learn to Ride a Bike Day
- International Workers Day
- International Doodle Dog Day
- Herb Day
- Loyalty Day
- May Day
- Fitness Day
- Play Outside Day
- Mariachi Day
- Executive Coaching Day
- Global Love Day
- Mother Goose Day
- Lei Day
- Purebred Dog Day
- School Principals Day
- Skyscraper Day
- Stepmothers Day
DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH EVERYDAY
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. – Steve Jobs
Happiness is…May Day and May Blossoms and May Lambs!
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
- Can February March? No, but April May!
- If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims!
Love is…cocktails for two.
A time to roll in the hay…A time to celebrate Batman Day.
1966 The Beatles performed their final show ever in England at Empire Pool in Wembley, London.
1952 Mr. Potato Head was officially released, originally only consisting of the accessories which were meant to be stuck in an actual potato.
1939 Batman first appears in Detective Comics #27
1873 The first U.S. government-produced postcard is issued. It cost one cent. One side was for the recipient’s address and the other was for the message.
1707 The union of England and Scotland becomes effective, adopting the name Great Britain.
LITTLE NUMBERS: SOME HORRBLE SOME NICE
©2021 Phil M Robinson