You Asked About May Day -- Patch Answers

May Day is worldwide holiday that is not celebrated widely in the U.S. although it often offers May breakfasts with some real fine eating.

Tomorrow is May Day – a worldwide holiday that is not celebrated widely in the U.S. -- although it often brings May breakfast feasts that offer some of the best eating of any holiday except for Thanksgiving.

Just where did May Day start and what is its significance? A Patch reader asked and we answer here.

May Day actually dates back to before the birth of Jesus Christ.  It has a long and history as one of the world's principal festivals. And like many ancient festivals, it has a Pagan connection, according to the holidayspot.com website.

 Perhaps because of its Pagan connection, the Puritans frowned on May Day. So, the day has never been celebrated with an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm in the United States.

But the tradition of celebrating May Day by dancing and singing around a maypole, tied with colorful streamers or ribbons, survived in the U.S. as a part of the English tradition. It’s a leftover from the old European traditions, according to holidayspot.com.

May Day also is often referred to as International Workers' Day -- a holiday that celebrates worker solidarity. The former Soviet Union used to celebrate May Day with a parade of military armament and marching soliders through the former Red Square.

In the United States this year, activists for the Occupy Wall Street movement are planning pickets, encampments and occupations in major cities from New York City to San Francisco.

In short, May Day is a holiday that has, at one point or another, involved everything from pagan rituals to flowery celebrations to bloody protests by workers attempting to unionize.


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