Some might believe that May Day is some sort of Bolshevik propaganda. Growing up in the totalitarian regime on the other side of the Iron Curtain, I can confirm that it was like that for many people in this part of the world before the curtain fell apart. May Day itself is however much older than Bolsheviks 😉 If we look at the history of this particular day, it’s rather vibrant and rich.
In case you don’t have enough time to read that article, below I’m quoting Encyclopaedia Britannica‘s brief version that describes the origins of this ancient pagan celebration. FYI, the so-called “socialist” dictators kidnapped May Day after it was chosen as the date for International Workers’ Day by the left-wing movements in the late 19th century to commemorate the terrorist attack that took place during a peaceful demonstration for an 8-hour working day in Chicago’s Haymarket Square on the 4th of May 1886.
May Day, in mediaeval and modern Europe, holiday (May 1) for the celebration of the return of spring. The observance probably originated in ancient agricultural rituals, and the Greeks and Romans held such festivals. Although later practices varied widely, the celebrations came to include the gathering of wildflowers and green branches, the weaving of floral garlands, the crowning of a May king and queen, and the setting up of a decorated May tree, or Maypole, around which people danced. Such rites originally may have been intended to ensure fertility for crops and, by extension, for livestock and humans, but in most cases this significance was gradually lost, so that the practices survived largely as popular festivities. Among the many superstitions associated with May Day was the belief that washing the face with dew on the morning of May 1 would beautify the skin. Because the Puritans of New England considered the celebrations of May Day to be licentious and pagan, they forbade its observance, and the holiday never became an important part of American culture. In the 20th century, traditional May Day celebrations declined in many countries as May 1 became associated with the international holiday honouring workers and the labour movement.Encyclopedia Britannica
Feature picture taken from The Independent ©