I really had to think hard about whether I wanted to write this post about May Day, since it has so many different aspects to it and formulating them altogether to make everyone aware and happy seemed a little overwhelming at first. I heard but a wee little voice in me head that said, “start at the beginning and you will find your path to the end.” (And you think it would be fun to be clairaudient, HA!)
It’s not all that fun to sit at your computer and type something out to have it deleted before it can be posted. Agitated I am, but I don’t give up that easily. For all that write about History, it is my upbringing and my major and I love sharing it to those that are interested.
The first beginnings of May Day started during the time of the Pagans. It was used to celebrate Beltane or Bealtaine, (in Irish) and Bealltainn (in Scottish Gaelic). It was a festival originally celebrated by Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Other Celtic lands, such as Wales, Brittany and Cornwall held similar celebrations.
Bealtaine means bright fire. It was orginally known as a belo fire (or bale fire) and to this day we use bellow’s to push air onto a fire to make it bigger. (Words change over time, but still hold a context to a specific meaning.) In the original places of the first celebrations they still build bonfires (another modern term) to this day. Traditionally, Bealtaine was celebrated around the Suns’ movement between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice. By technical scientific standards today, the Celtic people were off by 4 days, as that transition takes place around the 5th of May, but then again the Celtic calendar was not totally our calendar of today. Today, there 7 months with 31 days and 1 month with 28 days, all the rest have 30 days. Techincally speaking the Celtic people lived off the cycle of the moon and were off by a 24 hour period in a years time, which is amazing considering our techincal skill today of that of 4000 years ago. If the truth be known, the Celtic calendar is actually more accurate than our modern day calendar, which was influenced by the Pagans.
In neo-pagan terms this day is used for a sabbat, which is one of 8 Solar holidays. Regardless of how May Day is used around the world or how it came about, it is a day of celebration, including the use of the maypole.
What does all of this mean today? Labor Day in a lot of countries. May 1st marks the commemorations of International Workers Day. It started in Canada and ended up demanding an 8 hour work day in the U.S., to start on May 1, 1886. It spawned the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886. (a belo or bale is hay) Other countries, like Russia, after the Cold War, celebrated this day with big parades. In 1929 Nazi Germany shot 11,000 rounds of fire killing 32 demonstrators and bystanders and seriously injuring 80 others in a day they remember as Blood Day. It was the Nazi’s who made May Day a public holiday in Germany, over the fact that there would be no Labor Rights in that country, to this day.
There is now a Euro May Day. It started in Milan, Italy in 2004 and by 2005 their slogan was “Precarious”, to Unite and Strike for a free radical Europe.
Labor Day in the U.S. is in September for a reason. This Country is not about being radical or full of control, regardless of what some of you, as well as the communists and the Middle East might think. Get a Clue of where we are and how we got here and why we are here today. If you are fighting, in the U.S. to eliminate the word God from our Pledge of Alligance to this country, then get out. Go to the radical Europe and see how you fare. I have lived there and you are not going to like it when your entire body is searched before you walk into a department store to buy an outfit to go out in that night.
Before you bitch me out for my opinion, my cousin, from Great Britian, working in this Country, was killed in the World Trade Center attacks. Her casket contained a partial finger and a foot. Don’t you think you deserve a better death than that?
If you have pride and love for yourself and others, take May Day and do something special with the people you love in your life. Smile at a stranger, hug a child, touch the hand of an elderly person. Send an e-mail, make a phone call or write a letter to the people you are enstranged from. Your personal LOVE and compassion can do so much for those who live without LOVE in their life.