International Workers: Dance Around the May Pole for the good of your maidens and your sheep!

Today is May Day. May Day is celebratable for a number of reasons, the first being that it's 2 months that we're here in Albuquerque and we haven't had to get "reglar" jobs yet!!!

Since I get most* of my info from Wiki and anyone reading this knows how to click, I will only mention a couple hi-lites:

Beltane is the exact opposite of samhain on the calendar. In Ireland in the middle ages it was referred to as Céad Shamhain. It seems to have been about a communal coming together after the winter and spring. It is the first of summer, and the herds are driven into the hills to graze for the season. There were large bonfires lit on hillsides from which individual hearth fires could be lit. The herds may have been driven between two fires to purify them and to gain the blessing of whatever god was responsible for the harvest at the end of the summer, samhain. Just in case you've never heard anyone say that, it's most usually pronounced "sow-in."

Oddly, the Wiki article on beltane doesn't say anything about fertility and fertility rites, which, as far as I know, is what most spring/summer sabbats are about in pagan and neopagan traditions. But the May Pole is obviously linked to this day; the celebrants often "erected" May Bushes, which usually consisted either of a branch of rowan or whitethorn (hawthorn) which is in bloom at the time. There was also a practice of decorating the May Bush or Dos Bealtaine with flowers, ribbons, garlands and colored egg shells, which survives in some Easter celebrations, and on the May Pole we know of today, especially ribbons and garlands, in the UK.

The other celebrating today, around the world, is for Int'l Worker's Day. The article is more straightforward and less manipulated, in my opinion, so I won't reproduce it here. I will say, however, that it's very interesting to me that the reason we don't celebrate "Labor Day" with the rest of the world is because of a rivalry for power and supremacy between one labor organization and a bunch of others. Hmm.... a lefty who wants things a certain way (by implication, for their own glory) and the rest of the left saying no, can we unify and heal to become a part of something bigger (i.e., the rest of the known world)? Who woulda thunk?

*Finally, the asterisk: I get most of my info from Wiki, and the rest from here.

Views: 5

Comment by Khan on May 1, 2008 at 9:32am

Comment by hannahbee on May 1, 2008 at 9:36am
Thanks, Khan! I, for one, welcome our new Anarchist Mongolian Overlords!
Comment by mombat on May 1, 2008 at 4:35pm
My pandora selections lately have been generating lots of Irish rebellion songs and the seasonally appropriate, if somewhat silly Billy Bragg version of "Raise the Red Flag".
I had always thought that May Day as workers day came from Beltane and giving workers the day and night off to go and celebrate the fertility of the fields, as it were.
Thanks for this post!


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