May Day Today, Springtime Officially Hailed

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By Emma Koonse , Christian Post Reporter
May 1, 2013|8:41 am

Wednesday has arrived with May Day and people everywhere are celebrating.

Celebrated each year on the first of May, May Day is considered a public holiday in many cultures within the Northern Hemisphere, where the holiday officially rings in springtime. Along with it are many traditional events, which came from the ancient Celtic festival of Belthane.

For instance, in the U.S. as well as the U.K., May Day customs include children dancing and singing around a maypole, which has ribbons tied to it.

The maypole is a longstanding tradition that originated in Europe where is it known as a May Tree, as real trees are used instead of poles. It is said that many villages would compete with one another for the tallest maypole.

Also on May Day, many town select a May queen, and in many places, May baskets are hung from doorknobs of homes containing sweets and flowers.

Meanwhile, the holiday marks one of the year's four cross-quarter days, or day that falls more or less midway between an equinox and solstice, in this case the March equinox and June solstice. Other cross-quarter holidays include Groundhog Day and Halloween.

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In ancient Britain, May Day saw celebrations of new life and fertility while people dressed up in costume.

The first day of May also marks International Worker's Day as well as Law Day in the U.S.

Consequently, street protests, anti-austerity demonstrations and celebrations are going on today in countries such as Bangladesh, China and Cuba, according to the BBC.

Additionally, the day takes on a different significance in Hawaii where May 1 is known as "Lei Day" and people celebrate Hawaiian culture as well as springtime.

On Twitter, #MayDay became a trending topic and users sounded off about their celebrations.

"You cannot buy revolution," wrote Ikram. "You cannot make revolution. You can only be revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere. #mayday"

Scott posted, "Happy #MayDay everyone! Don't forget to get outside and celebrate spring."

"We're still fighting for justice, equal rights, and the full humanity of all out brother and sisters in the world," wrote Nic. "Stand up it's #Mayday!"

 

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