The 1st of May is celebrated as May Day and for years many different cultures have celebrated May Day as the beginning of Summer (even though May is classed as Spring) Whilst many of us see May Day as an excuse for enjoy a bank holiday, there are many celebrates that are held across the United Kingdom to celebrate this special day.
In Scotland and Ireland there are Beltane Festivals, including the Beltane Fire Festival held in Edinburgh upon Carlton Hill. Originally these festivals were to help crop growth, however now they are seen as a celebration for everyone to get involved. Other traditions found on May Day includes the idea that if you washed your face with fresh morning dew that it would improve your skin. Other places such as India and Egypt celebrate with Spring Fertility Festivals, including the Roman Festival which celebrates Flora the goddess of fertility, flowers and spring.
Another famous may day activity is the maypole dance, where people dance around a tree holding an end of a piece of ribbon, weaving the ribbons into different designs. Nowadays the tree has been replaced by a pole, and this dance can still be seen in the USA and across parts of Europe.
International Workers Day
May Day is also known as International Workers Day which originated back in the late 1800s when workers protested on the 1st of May to work no more than 8 hours a day (compared to 11 hours).
Various authorities have tried to ban or undermine May Day, particularly the communist observances during the Cold War. In 1955, Pope Pius XII designated May 1 as a feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. In 1958, President Eisenhower designated May 1 as both Law Day and Loyalty Day. Each of these were specifically aimed at replacing the communist holiday with a religious or patriotic one.
Here are Clare Florist make sure to check out our Spring Flower Collection to find a gorgeous bouquet to brighten up your home this May. Our stunning range of flowers is available in a rich mixture of colourful tones to brighten up your home.