Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1st - A Day with Many Meanings

When I woke up this morning I thought to myself, "Yay! It's May!" Then I started thinking about the significance of May Day, May 1st.

Back in high school I learned that May Day is also known as the International Workers Day, or Labor Day, in many countries. It is a day to commemorate the fight for the 8 hour work day. According to Wikipedia, "The idea for a "workers' holiday" began in Australia in 1856; after a stonemason's victory in securing improved employee rights, April 22nd was declared "Eight-Hour Day", a public holiday. With the idea having spread around the world, the choice of May 1st became a commemoration by the socialist Second International for the people involved in the 1886 Haymarket affair." Living in a city that has demonstrations for just about anything you can name, we almost always have one for May Day. I'm sure it'll be on the news tonight.

I like to think of the more colorful and festive ways to celebrate May Day - dancing around the May Pole and crowning the Queen of May. We don't see that happening too often, but back when I first started teaching, I worked at a small, private school that celebrated this. All of the girls wore beautiful white dresses and the girls from the lower grades danced and wove streamers around the May Pole. The girls from the upper grades participated in the crowning of the Queen of May. Parents were invited and there were flowers galore.

In Hawaii, May Day is also known as Lei Day - a day set aside to celebrate the culture and music of Hawaii.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the sun is shining, and it's supposed to get above 70 deg for the first time since last summer. I think we'll celebrate by getting out for a walk, working in the garden, and breaking out the new barbecue grill.

How will you celebrate?

It's also Pet Blog Hop weekend.


Be Colorful Coastal said...

Gretchen. What an unbelievable cute picture. If I had a dog that is exactly what I would want.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a glowing comment on BeColorful I heart them. :)

Be Colorful Coastal said...

Jeeze, forgot to say I would love to see a picture of your yellow door and hear if you like it or not.

That Girl said...

Hi! Just making the rounds to remind all my dog-bloggin' friends that the Tricks For Treats contest ends this Friday at 11:59 pm EST. Grab your video camera and get your submission in ASAP!


Unknown said...

When I was in elementary school, way back in time, we use to celebrate May Day and do the twirling of ribbons around the May pole. Thanks for the memories! Oh I have you under my "blogs I follow" list now on A Camp Host's Meanderings. Took me a while to update.

Sammy the Cavalier said...

Didn't realize the significance of May Day. Its very interesting

Those were very pretty pictures.