May Day


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Daniel Parkinson's picture
Daniel Parkinson
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008

Mayday tomorrow, which traditionally marked the beginning of Summer. There are loads of traditions associated with this day including:
 
The Maypole, at one time a sapling cut down especially for the occasion, in some places they were erected permanently in village squares, many were cut down during puritan times.
 
The May Obby Oss/Hobby Horse festivals at Padstow and Minehead.
 
May Goslings were tricks played on May Day similar to those played on April fools day, I think this was the North of England but can’t remember off the top of my head.
 
May Horns were blown from dawn on Mayday in many parts of the country, as a welcoming act for Summer.
 
May Garlands (flower decorations) were carried around some villages – sometimes with a May Doll, that was taken door to door.
 
Dew from the ground was collected by women on May Day as it was thought to have healing properties, and was also thought to bring good luck. This was once commonplace: one traditional collection point being Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.
 
May Birching was practiced on May Eve in some villages where branches representing what you thought of your neighbours were pinned to doors, thorns were generally bad and other branches represented different things.

Neil Boothman's picture
Neil Boothman
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
On a secular level, May Day

On a secular level, May Day is also associated with international celebration of the social and economic achievments of the labour movement. In this regard the day is called International Workers' Day and the day is often used as an outlet of political protest worldwide.

I've always liked May Day - Morris Dancing juxtaposed with Anarchists on the march. :-)

Columbine
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008
 Went to the celebrations

 Went to the celebrations in Oxford this morning; they had a Jack in the Green, though i don't know much more than the name. 



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