May 1st is May Day! People have been celebrating the first of May for hundreds of years, but for two very different reasons. 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
May, from the Latin ‘Maius’, is named after Maia, a Roman goddess of growth.
No US President has ever died during the month of May.Midsummer Night’s Dream is the only Shakespeare play that mentions a maypole.‘May’ was the 493rd most popular name given to a baby girl in the UK in 2003. ‘Mae’ was 499th.In 2004, a study of 40,000 people showed that people born in May think themselves luckier than those born in any other month.According to old superstitions, it is unlucky to marry, buy a broom or wash a blanket in May.
May is also...
- National Hamburger Month
- National Strawberry Month
- National Chocolate Custard Month
- National Egg Month (American Egg Board)
- Motorcycle Awareness Month
- Date Your Mate Month
- Foster Care Month
- National Barbecue Month
- National Bike Month
- National Blood Pressure Month
- National Photograph Month
- National Recommitment Month
- National Salad Month
- National Salsa Month
- Older Americans Month
- National Vinegar Month
Facts and figures courtesy of "Dr. Dave"