May Day is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday, it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. The day may include dancing, singing, and cake as part of the celebrations. In some parts of the UK, May Day festivities are taken very seriously and weeks of preparation go into elaborate celebrations. The first Monday in May is a bank holiday, when most of the festivities take place.
In our little Hampshire village of Rowlands Castle, a May Day picnic has been organised here for over twenty years. It is a fairly low-key day, where people bring their own chairs, rugs, and food, and sit on the village green to listen to a local brass band. This year there was also a girls’ baton twirling team in lurid pink leotards, a plant stall, a tea and cakes stall provided by the local tea shop, and some classic cars on display. The pub was selling BBQ food, and although the weather wasn’t brilliant, everyone had a lovely time. Read more about my village in an earlier post.
Here are some photos I took today…….
May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, and people) and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. Seeding has been completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm labourers a day off. Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons. Read more about May Day here.