Do you think May 1st is a day of celebration or day of protest?
Would you surprise if we say: BOTH?
The significance of May Day is different in various cultures.
Let’s explore the origin and traditions of May Day:
1. Beltane, celebrated on May 1st, is an ancient Celtic festival that marks the beginning of summer and the growth of new crops. Traditionally, it is praised with bonfires, dances and other rituals; involving the elements of fire and water.
In Europe, it is a traditional spring holiday.
In countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland, it is celebrated with parades, dances, and the crowning of a May Queen.
In England, as a holiday of renewal and fertility, celebrated with Morris dancing, where people dress up in white costumes and perform traditional dances.
In Scotland, as the start of summer, it is celebrated as festival.
2. International Workers' Day, also celebrated annually on May 1st, to honour the contributions of workers and protest for workers' rights. It has origins in the labor movement in the late 19th century.
In the United States, Africa, Asia, Turkey and Latin America, it is a day off for many workers. It is a day of protest for workers' rights. In some cities, there are May Day rallies and marches to demand better working conditions, higher wages, and other labor-related issues.
Beltane and Workers' Day are actually connected in a way that both celebrate renewal, growth, community, and the power of human labor to create change and progress.