Happy May Day
Good May Morning, It is Mayday, the 1st of May 2015 and the start of our Bank Holiday weekend. It is 7 Degrees with North Easterly winds of 9mph. Partly cloudy today in our Bubble with sunny spells expected.
The first day of the month of May is known as May Day. It is the time of year when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees start to blossom. It is said to be a time of love and romance. It is when people celebrate the coming of summer with lots of different customs that are expressions of joy and hope after a long winter.
May Day Bank Holiday
The month of May has many traditions and celebrations. For the convenience of the general public, many May Day activities have now been moved to the new May Day holiday on the first Monday of the month. This Monday is a bank holiday, a day off school and work.
Many of the May Day celebrations take place at the weekend as well as on the 'May Day' Monday. The weekend is know as bank holiday weekend because it comes with the extra day holiday on the Monday.
Roman festival of Flora Although summer does not officially begin until June, May Day really marks its beginning. May Day celebrations have their origins in the Roman festival of Flora, goddess of fruit and flowers, which marked the beginning of summer. It was held annually from April 28th to May 3rd.
A traditional May day dance is known as Maypole Dancing. On May day, people used to cut down young trees and stick them in the ground in the village to mark the arrival of summer. People danced around them in celebration of the end of winter and the start of the fine weather that would allow planting to begin.
Maypoles were once common all over England and were kept from one year to the next. Schools would practice skipping round the pole for weeks before the final show on the village greens. The end results would be either a beautiful plaited pattern of ribbons round the pole or a tangled cat's cradle, depending on how much rehearsing had been done.
Many English villages still have a maypole, and on May 1st, the villagers dance around it. Unfortunately Formby does not.
How was May Day Celebrated in the past?
It was custom for every one to go a-Maying early on May Day. Herrick, a 17th century English poet wrote:
There's not a budding boy, or girl, this day, But is got up, and gone to bring in May.
May Day began early in the morning. People would go out before sunrise in order to gather flowers and greenery to decorate their houses and villages with in the belief that the vegetation spirits would bring good fortune.
Washing in the early morning dew
Girls would make a special point of washing their faces in the dew of the early morning. They believed this made them very beautiful for the following year.
The rest of the day was given over to various festivities. There was dancing on the village green, archery contest and exhibitions of strength. The highlight of the day was the crowning of the May Queen, the human replica of Flora. By tradition she took no part in the games or dancing, but sat like a queen in a flower-decked chair to watch her 'subjects'.
May Day Garlands
Young girls would make May Garlands. They covered two hoops, one at right angles inside the other, with leaves and flowers, and sometimes they put a doll inside to represent the goddess of Spring.
In some parts of Britain, May 1st is called Garland Day.
The first of May is Garland Day So please remember the garland. We don't come here but once a year, So please remember the garland.
May Day Lifting
There was once a tradition in England of 'lifting' where a gang of young men would lift a pretty girl in a flower bedecked chair on May day. Then the girl would choose a boy on May 2nd.
May Day Tricks
In the North of England, the first of May was a kind of late 'April Fooling' when all sorts of pranks would take place and 'May Gosling' was the shout if you managed to trick someone. The response would be:
'May Goslings past and gone. You're the fool for making me one!'
The tallest maypole is said to have been erected in London on the Strand in 1661; it stood over 143 feet high. It was felled in 1717, when it was used by Isaac Newton to support Huygen's new reflecting telescope.
May Day holiday to move to October under Coalition plans
According to the Daily Telegrapgh...
The May Day bank holiday could be scrapped and replaced with a new holiday in the autumn, under plans being considered by the Government.
May Day Festival: The May Day bank holiday could be scrapped and replaced with a new holiday in the autumn Photo: ALAMY
The new October bank holiday is likely to be called UK Day or Trafalgar Day and follows calls from the tourism industry for a better spread of public holidays across the year.
Unions, however, accused the Conservative Party of attacking the celebration of international workers' day on May 1.
Government sources denied there was any political dimension to the proposal and stressed that it was subject to consultation. It will be contained in a forthcoming tourism strategy.
Tourism Minister John Penrose said: "Tourism businesses in the UK are brilliant at providing a quality experience for their customers all year round, but Government should play its part in helping them do so.
"An autumn bank holiday, possibly to be branded as a new UK Day, would not only help the industry but also give us all a new focus for celebrating the best of what this country does, and all the things that make us a world-class nation.
"But before we try to take this further, it's really important that everyone has a chance to consider it properly.
"If people decide they'd rather hang on to the May Day holiday, then so be it, but we ought to consider the options in a sensible way before the country reaches a collective decision."
Any change would not take place before 2013. There are additional bank holidays this year and next year to celebrate the royal wedding and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee respectively.
The Government is studying the move because the Easter holidays can fall very close to the May Day bank holiday, while an autumn holiday – during the half-term break – would help promote the tourism industry in the later part of the year.
Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, criticised any move away from the May Day bank holiday – introduced in 1978 by Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan's government – and called for an extra day off instead.
He said: "There is strong support for an extra public holiday as the UK has the stingiest allocation in Europe.
"But the last thing we need is for the Government to mess around with established bank holidays that workers and businesses have built their schedules around.
"A few Tory backwoodsmen have a bee in their bonnet about the May Day bank holiday because of its association with international labour day.
"In fact, May Day is a traditional British celebration dating back to the fourth century."
Backbench Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, Conservative MP for Romford, said: "I don't think we need a workers' day any more than we need a day for pensioners or any other group. It is silly."