May Day…Origins... : An ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane, most commonly held on April 30. The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the celebrations, the secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors' doorsteps. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Day
…Dirty Rotten Commies… – In the late 19th Century, May Day was chosen as the date for International Workers' Day by the Socialists and Communists of the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago. In those countries that celebrate International Workers' Day, May 1st is often referred to as "May Day."
In the mid 20th Century when I was growing up in the middle of the Cold War, the May Day Parade in the Kremlin was all over the evening news. Those evil Ruskies were always bringing out their latest planes, tanks, nuclear tipped missiles and goose stepping by the tens of thousands across Red Square.
To tell the truth the best thing about May Day was the count down to the last day of school and the Memorial Day Holiday that marked the beginning of three months of total freedom.
…and What’s Next in the 21st Century – According to the Guardian’s Workers rally on May Day: Topless Femen activists perform the Nazi salute above flags reading ‘Heil Le Pen’, as they demonstrate against a rally by the far-right Front National in honor Joan of Arc in Paris. Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse crowds in Istanbul:
In Tokyo the aftermath of Fukushima is part of the parade...
Having never been a hardcore labor activist nor a Wiccan, I’m considering getting out of the house for an early celebration of Independent Book Store Day:
…and maybe treat myself to some sushi.
Except for attributed photos and text, all content is copyrighted © 2015 JKM (an apparently ineffectual boilerplate joke?)