In the UK we have be been celebrating May Day for thousands of years and for over 400 years traditional celebrations included dancing around a Maypole that is decorated with flowers and ribbons attached. Children would hold the lengths of ribbon and dance an intricate pattern of dance that enabled the whole pole to be covered on the ribbons in colourful patterns. A May Queen would then
be chosen and crowned and would either walk or ride at the beginning of the May Day Parade through the local town or village. There would also been Morris Dancing at the May Day celebrations. Morris Dancing is a traditional Folk Dance whereby a group of dancers and musicians would perform a series of dances using handerchiefs or sticks and rythmic movements and steps. Traditionally they would wear hats decorated with flowers and bells on their legs, musicians would use custom made instruments.
Beltane, a pagan festival, which was celebrated by the ancient Celts on the 1st of May, and is still celebrated by many people now. Beltane is the festival of Fire and celebrates Life, the fullness of Spring and the beginning of Summer. special for pagan people also.
The ancient Romans would celebrate May Day and the arrival of spring by giving gifts of flowers and dancing dedicating them to the goddess Flora.
Since 1978 in the UK we celebrate May Day with Spring Bank Holiday on the first Monday in May. Traditional celebrations still happen all over the country but many people follow more modern traditions of a time to relax and spend time with family and friends.
Whatever you do today or over the Bank Holiday weekend we wish you a Happy May Day and a wonderful weekend.
Carole and Lesley xx