2018-04-11 / Other News

May Day ... did you know?

May Day has a long and storied history. May Day was initially designated to welcome the change in season, notably spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Druids and ancient Gaelic people would have festivals to celebrate the return of life and fertility to the world.

One popular May Day tradition involved the maypole, which can be traced back to Medieval times. May Day festivities involved dancing around the maypole, which was adorned with colorful ribbons and streamers. Some historians surmise that these ritualistic dances were also courtship dances and fertility rituals.

In the 19th century, May Day celebrations evolved from one celebrating spring to a commemoration of labor rights in the United States. The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions wanted to end the poor working conditions and long hours workers faced and held a convention in Chicago, where they proposed an eight-hour workday.

Although implemented on May 1, 1886, May Day as a labor movement never fullytook root as a holiday in the United States, and was later surpassed by Labor Day, which is celebrated in September. However, May Day is still celebrated in 66 other countries.

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