Today is May Day! Over the centuries many Pagen festivals merged with religious festivals which in turn are becoming secular again. I love to celebrate the seasons and May Day along with Easter celebrates Spring. Why would anyone not want to celebrate spring! the flowers come out, baby animals are being born, the days are longer and the weather slowly changes that we can actually stand to be outdoors.
I used to do maypole dancing at junior school and thoroughly enjoyed it. its quite energetic and you really have to concentrate (although getting untangled can be a fun activity in itself). The tradition of maypole dancing is common across many countries in Europe and North America also and the pole can be seen in many old paintings depicting village life. In this painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger you can clearly see the the effects of that other tradition known as the ‘Beer Tent’
Another tradition is that of crowning the May Queen, in which a young girl (sometimes with attendants) is chosen to lead the celebrations. Personally i think this would be a wonderful experience and i really hope that these old traditions can be kept up or even morphed into our modern society. Getting together in celebration with food and friends, music and dancing really is a wonderful thing.
…unfortunately its utterly pouring down today but fingers crossed for the May Day bank holiday on Monday. I will be baking this weekend of course… especially since the RHUBARB arrives on Wednesday!