Where I grew up, May Day was a big deal. For us kids, it was like Halloween in reverse. Instead of going to a stranger’s house and demanding candy, we left a basket of fruit and flowers on a person’s doorstep, rang the doorbell, and ran like crazy!
The object, aside from surprising the receiver in a good way, was not to be spotted or caught. What a thrill. We actually had maypoles at school, and did maypole dances around them with colored ribbons, too.
But ask most anyone under 30 about May Day, and you’ll likely get a blank stare or shrug. Somewhere between now and then, seems this quaint holiday with its ancient threads came unraveled. It’s literally vanished in many places. Oh, you might hear strident speeches about worker’s rights or something on modern May 1st occasions, but it’s certainly nothing so fun nor so colorful.
I confess I miss MY May Day. The one with crepe paper ribbons, armfuls of flowers, surprised and delighted neighbors, and yes, even the silly dancing ’round the maypole. If you’re curious like I was about the history of May Day across different cultures, Wikipedia gives a nice rundown, from Beltane to Walpurgis Night. (Now if they could only tell me how to bring it back…)