- Happy May Day! May 01, 2007
- (Above: The Green Me)
Happy May Day!
Lord Summerisle: Perhaps it’s just as well that you won’t be here ...
to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations.”
Sgt. Howie (shocked): "But they are naked!"
Lord Summerisle: "Naturally. It's much too dangerous
to jump through the fire with your clothes on!"
(From The Wicker Man)
- but this one will have to suffice because many people are offended by nudity)
May Day is sacred and important to many different people! This may be the most universally observed holiday of all. At Beltain Pagans of all varieties Dance the May in honor of Mid Summers and the Lady Day. Traditionally they do so nude, or "skyclad," but today most Neo-Pagans have seemingly embraced Christian "modesty" and so often shun the human form. Nonetheless:
"Listen to the words of the Great Mother, She Who was of old called among men Artemis, Astarte, Diane, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Dana, Arianrod, Bride, and by many other Names.
"At Mine alters the youth of Lacedemon in Sparta made due sacrifice. Whenever you have need of anything, once in the month, and better it be when the Moon is full, then ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the Spirit of Me Who am Queen of the Witcheries.
"There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets. To these will I teach things that are yet unknown.
"And you shall be free from slavery. And as a sign that ye be truly free, ye shall be naked in your rites. And shall dance and sing, feast, make music and love, all in My praise.
"For Mine is the ecstasy of the Spirit, and Mine also is joy on earth, for My Law is Love unto all beings.
"Keep pure your highest ideal. Strive ever towards it. Let naught stop you nor turn you aside.
For Mine is the secret door which opens upon the door of youth. And Mine is the cup of wine of life, and the Cauldron of Carridwen, which is the Holy Grail of Immortality.
"I am the Gracious Goddess Who gives the gift of joy unto the hearts of man. Upon Earth I give peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all the living and My Love is poured out upon the Earth.
"Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess, she in the dust of Whose Feet are the host of the heavens, Whose Body encircles the universe. I Who am the beauty of the green Earth, and the white Moon amongst the Stars, and the mystery of the Waters, and the desire of the heart of man call unto they soul: Arise and come unto Me.
"For I am the Soul of Nature Who giveth life to the universe, from Me all things proceed, and unto Me all things must return, and before My face, beloved of gods and men, thine inmost divine self shall be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.
"Let My worship be within the heart that rejoiceth. And thou who thinkest to seek for Me, know this: Thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee naught, unless thou knowest this mystery:
- The origin of the "Charge of the Goddess" is uncertain. It appears to be post-Christian, at least in its present form. The references to freedom seems to indicate liberation from both Christian oppression and so-called morality. Charles G. Leland, in his Aradia: Gospel of the Witches was, to my knowledge, the first to make the Charge available to the general public but I do not believe he penned it.
The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian Europe, as in the Celtic celebration of Beltane, and the Walpurgis Night of the Germanic countries. Although the Pagan-oriented celebrations faded as Europe became Christianised, a more secular version of the holiday continued to be observed in the schools and churches of Europe well into the 20th century. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the Maypole and crowning of the Queen of the May. Today many Neo-Pagans, especially Wiccans, celebrate reconstructed versions of the old Pagan holidays on May 1.
- Socialists and Communists remember the Haymarket martyrs of 1886 and the International Socialist Movement generally. The latter event is an important holiday in Communist and Socialist countries. This tradition continues and today mass marches on various worker's issues are taking place across the globe.
For Roman Catholics, May is the Month of the Virgin Mary. Much could be said here about which Mary! The Church says it is the Virgin Mother's Day but there is plenty of evidence showing it is the day of Mary Magdelene who, according to many evidences, was honored (and even worshipped) in her own right as the wife of Jesus.
- May Day is also the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The feast was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to Christianize the concept of labor and give to all workers a model and a protector.
However you honor this day,
May you find it a blissful and joyous time!
For Your consideration:
Various May Day Events[source]
- 305 - Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman Emperor.
- 1045 - Gregory VI is appointed Pope.
- 1328 - Wars of Scottish Independence end: Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton – England recognises Scotland as an independent nation.
- 1396 - The Dahu becomes Switzerland's national animal.
- 1576 - Stefan Batory, the reigning Prince of Transylvania, marries Anna Jagiellon and they become the co-rulers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
- 1707 - The Act of Union joins England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
- 1751 - The first cricket match is played in America.
- 1753 - Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
- 1778 - American Revolution: The Battle of Crooked Billet begins in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.
- 1786 - Opening night of the opera The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna.
- 1834 - The British colonies abolish slavery.
- 1851 - The Great Exhibition is opened in London by Queen Victoria.
- 1863 - American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville begins.
- 1869 - The Folies Bergère opens in Paris.
- 1884 - Proclamation of the demand for eight-hour workday in the United States
- 1886 - The start of the general strike which eventually wins the eight-hour workday in the United States. These events are today commemorated as May Day or Labor Day in most industrialized countries.
- 1893 - The World's Columbian Exposition opens in Chicago.
- 1894 - Coxey's Army, the first significant American protest march, arrives in Washington D.C..
- 1898 - Spanish-American War: The Battle of Manila Bay - The United States Navy destroys the Spanish Pacific fleet in the first battle of the war.
- 1900 - The Scofield mine disaster kills 200 in Scofield, Utah in the now fifth-worst mining accident in United States history.
- 1901 - The Pan-American Exposition opens in Buffalo, New York.
- 1915 - RMS Lusitania departs New York City on her two hundred and second and final crossing of the North Atlantic. Six days later the ship was torpedoed off the Irish coast with the loss of 1,198 lives, including 128 Americans, rousing American sentiment against Germany.
- 1925 - The All-China Federation of Trade Unions is officially founded. Today it is the largest trade union in the world, with 134 million members.
- 1927 - The first cooked meals on a scheduled flight are introduced on an Imperial Airways flight from London to Paris.
- 1927 - The Union Labor Life Insurance Company is founded by the American Federation of Labor.
- 1930 - The dwarf planet Pluto is officially named.
- 1931 - The Empire State Building is dedicated in New York City.
- 1940 - The 1940 Summer Olympics are cancelled due to war.
- 1941 - Orson Welles's Citizen Kane premieres in New York City
- 1941 - World War II: German forces launch Operation Mercury the largest airborne invasion to date in their bid to capture Crete.
- 1941 - World War II: German forces launch a major attack on Tobruk.
- 1945 - Soviet troops raise the Soviet Flag over the Reichstag, in Berlin
- 1945 - A German newsreader officially announces that Adolf Hitler had "fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany".
- 1946 - Start of 3 year Pilbara strike of Indigenous Australians.
- 1946 - The Paris Peace Conference decides that the islands of the Dodecanese are returned to Greece by the Italians.
- 1948 - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is established, with Kim Il Sung as president.
- 1950 - Guam is organized as a United States commonwealth.
- 1956 - The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.
- 1956 - A doctor in Japan reports an "epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system", marking the official discovery of Minamata disease
- 1960 - Cold War: U-2 Crisis – Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Soviet Union, sparking off a diplomatic crisis.
- 1961 - The Prime minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, proclaims Cuba a socialist nation and abolishes elections.
- 1965 - Battle of Dong-Yin, a naval conflict between ROC and PRC.
- 1967 - Singer Elvis Presley marries Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas.
- 1970 - Protests erupt in Seattle, Washington, United States following the announcement of President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) that U.S. Forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country. 
- 1971 - Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) is formed to take over U.S. passenger rail service.
- 1978 - Japan's Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, becomes the first person to reach the North Pole alone.
- 1978 - The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (which would later become known as "spam") was sent by a DEC marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.
- 1978 - May Day Bank Holiday introduced across England.
- 1982 - The 1982 World's Fair opens in Knoxville, Tennessee.
- 1983 - Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis is awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.
- 1987 - Pope John Paul II beatifies Edith Stein, a Jewish-born Carmelite nun who was gassed in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.
- 1989 - The coat of arms of Greenland is adopted.
- 1989 - Disney-MGM studios opens in Orlando, Florida.
- 1991 - Rickey Henderson would steal his 939th base, making him the all-time leader in this category. However, his accomplishment would be overshadowed later that evening by Nolan Ryan, who would pitch his seventh career no-hitter (breaking his own record).
- 1992 - On the third day of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, African American criminal Rodney King appeared in public before television news cameras to appeal for calm and plead for peace, asking, "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?".
- 1994 - Last day of the standing Kop Grandstand for Liverpool F.C., perhaps the most famous stand in English Football.
- 1994 - Brazilian Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna dies in an accident during the San Marino GP.
- 1995 - Croatian forces launch Operation Flash during the Croatian War of Independence
- 2000 - The Cenotaph and a statue of Winston Churchill are defaced with graffiti amid anti-capitalist riots in London.
- 2001 - Thomas Blanton Jr. became the second ex-Ku Klux Klansman to be convicted in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, that claimed the lives of four little girls.
- 2003 - 2003 invasion of Iraq: In what becomes known as the "Mission Accomplished" speech, President George W. Bush declares "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" on board USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California.
- 2004 - Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia join the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.
- 2006 - The Puerto Rican government runs out of money, forcing the closure of schools and all other government agencies.
May Day Births
- 1218 - John I, Count of Hainaut (d. 1257)
- 1218 - Rudolph I of Germany, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (d. 1291)
- 1285 - Edmund FitzAlan, 9th Earl of Arundel, English politician (d. 1326)
- 1582 - Marco da Gagliano, Italian composer (d. 1643)
- 1594 - John Haynes, Massachusetts colonial magistrate
- 1672 - Joseph Addison, English politician and writer (d. 1719)
- 1804 - Aleksey Khomyakov, Russian poet (d. 1860)
- 1829 - José de Alencar, Brazilian novelist (d. 1877)
- 1831 - Emily Stowe, Canadian physician and suffragist (d. 1903)
- 1851 - Laza Lazarević, Serbian writer and psychiatrist (d. 1891)
- 1852 - Calamity Jane, American Wild West performer (d. 1903)
- 1852 - Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Spanish neuroscientist, Nobel laureate (d. 1934)
- 1872 - Sidónio Pais, Portuguese military and politician (d. 1918)
- 1881 - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French palaeontologist and philosopher (d. 1955)
- 1887 - Alan Gordon Cunningham, British army officer (d. 1983)
- 1896 - Mark Wayne Clark, American general (d. 1984)
- 1901 - Heinz Eric Roemheld, American film composer (d. 1985)
- 1901 - Antal Szerb, Hungarian author and historian (d. 1945)
- 1905 - Henry Koster, German film director (d. 1988)
- 1905 - Paul Desruisseaux, French Canadian lawyer, businessman and politician (d. 1982)
- 1907 - Oliver Hill, civil rights attorney
- 1908 - Giovanni Guareschi, Italian journalist (d. 1968)
- 1909 - Kate Smith, American singer (d. 1986)
- 1909 - Yiannis Ritsos, Greek poet, winner of the Lenin Peace Prize, 9 times candidate for the Nobel Prize (d. 1990)
- 1913 - Louis Nye, American comedian and actor (d. 2005)
- 1913 - Walter Susskind, Czech conductor (d. 1980)
- 1915 - Archie Williams, American athlete (d. 1993)
- 1916 - Glenn Ford, Canadian actor (d. 2006)
- 1917 - John Beradino, American actor and baseball player (d. 1996)
- 1917 - Danielle Darrieux, French singer and actress
- 1918 - Jack Paar, American television host (d. 2004)
- 1918 - Gersh Budker, Russian physicist (d. 1977)
- 1919 - Dan O'Herlihy, Irish film actor (d. 2005)
- 1923 - Joseph Heller, American novelist (d. 1999)
- 1924 - Art Fleming, American game show host (d. 1995)
- 1924 - Karel Kachyňa, Czech film director (d. 2004)
- 1924 - Terry Southern, American screenwriter (d. 1995)
- 1925 - Chuck Bednarik, American football player
- 1925 - Scott Carpenter, American astronaut
- 1928 - Desmond Titterington, Northern Irish racer (d. 2002)
- 1929 - Ralf Dahrendorf, German-born sociologist and politician
- 1929 - Sonny James, American country music singer and songwriter
- 1930 - Richard Riordan, former mayor of Los Angeles
- 1934 - Joan Hackett, American actress (d. 1983)
- 1934 - Shirley Horn, American jazz singer and pianist (d. 2005)
- 1935 - Ann Robinson, American actress
- 1937 - Una Stubbs, English actress
- 1939 - Judy Collins, American folk singer
- 1939 - Max Robinson, American broadcast journalist (d. 1988)
- 1940 - Elsa Peretti, Italian jewelry designer
- 1944 - Suresh Kalmadi, Indian politician
- 1945 - Rita Coolidge, American singer
- 1946 - Joanna Lumley, British actress
- 1946 - John Woo, Hong Kong director
- 1949 - Paul Teutul, Sr., founder of Orange County Choppers
- 1950 - Danny McGrain, Scottish footballer
- 1950 - Dann Florek, American actor
- 1954 - Ray Parker Jr., American singer and songwriter
- 1954 - Joel Rosenberg, science fiction author
- 1957 - Catherine Frot, French actress
- 1960 - Steve Cauthen, American jockey
- 1961 - Marilyn Milian, current judge on The People's Court
- 1962 - Maia Morgenstern, Romanian actress
- 1962 - Ted Sundquist, General Manager of the Denver Broncos
- 1964 - Yvonne van Gennip, Dutch speed skater
- 1967 - Tim McGraw, American musician
- 1968 - Oliver Bierhoff, German footballer
- 1968 - Sol Kyung-gu, South Korean actor
- 1968 - D'arcy Wretzky, American musician (The Smashing Pumpkins)
- 1969 - Wes Anderson, American director and writer
- 1971 - Ajith Kumar, Indian film actor
- 1973 - Curtis Martin, American football player
- 1973 - Oliver Neuville, German footballer
- 1975 - Alexei Smertin, Russian footballer
- 1975 - Jodhi May, British actress
- 1975 - Marc-Vivien Foé, Cameroonian footballer (d. 2003)
- 1976 - Darius McCrary, American actor
- 1977 - Vera Lischka, Austrian swimmer
- 1979 - MC Harvey (Michael Harvey), British musical artist
- 1981 - Aleksander Hleb, Belarusian footballer
- 1982 - Tommy Robredo, Spanish tennis player
- 1983 - The Human Tornado (Craig Williams), American professional wrestler
- 1984 - Alexander Farnerud, Swedish footballer
- 1984 - Farah Fath, American actress
- 1985 - Drew Sidora, American actress
- 1986 - Cristian Benítez, Ecuadorian footballer
- 1986 - Adam Casey, Australian footballer
- 1987 - Shahar Pe'er, Israeli tennis player
- 1990 - Caitlin Stasey, Australian actress
- 1997 - Ariel Gade, American actress
May Day Deaths
- 408 - Arcadius, Roman emperor
- 1118 - Edith of Scotland, first wife of Henry I of England (b. c. 1080)
- 1308 - Albert I of Habsburg (murdered) (b. 1255)
- 1555 - Pope Marcellus II (b. 1501)
- 1572 - Pope Pius V (b. 1504)
- 1731 - Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer (b. 1677)
- 1738 - Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle, English statesman (b. c. 1669)
- 1772 - Gottfried Achenwall, German statistician (b. 1719)
- 1813 - Jean-Baptiste Bessières, French marshal (killed in combat) (b. 1768)
- 1873 - David Livingstone, Scottish missionary (b. 1813)
- 1899 - Ludwig Büchner, German philosopher and physician (b. 1824)
- 1904 - Antonín Dvořák, Czech composer (b. 1841)
- 1935 - Henri Pélissier, French cyclist (b. 1889)
- 1937 - Snitz Edwards, American actor (b. 1868)
- 1943 - Johan Oscar Smith, Norweigian Christian leader and founder of Smith's Friends (b.1871)
- 1945 - Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda (suicide) (b. 1897)
- 1965 - Spike Jones, American band leader, musician, and comedian (b. 1911)
- 1968 - Harold Nicolson, British diplomat, author and politician (b. 1886)
- 1968 - Jack Adams, Canadian ice hockey player, coach and general manager (b.1895)
- 1970 - Crown Prince Euimin, Crown Prince Korea (b. 1897)
- 1976 - Alexandros Panagoulis, Greek poet who fought the military junta in Greece (b. 1939)
- 1976 - T.R.M. Howard, civil rights leader, entrepreneur, surgeon (b. 1908)
- 1978 - Aram Khachaturian, Armenian composer (b. 1903)
- 1982 - William Primrose, Scottish violist (b. 1903)
- 1986 - Hugo Peretti, American songwriter and record producer (b. 1916)
- 1989 - Sally Kirkland, fashion editor at LIFE (b. 1912)
- 1989 - Douglass Watson, American actor (b. 1921)
- 1990 - Sergio Franchi, Italian tenor (b. 1926)
- 1993 - Pierre Bérégovoy, French Prime Minister (suicide) (b. 1925)
- 1993 - Ranasinghe Premadasa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (b. 1924)
- 1994 - Ayrton Senna, Brazilian three-time Formula One champion (b. 1960)
- 1998 - Eldridge Cleaver, American activist (b. 1935)
- 2000 - Steve Reeves, American actor (b. 1926)
- 2003 - Miss Elizabeth, American wrestler (b. 1960)
- 2006 - Big Hawk, American rapper (b.1969)
- 2006 - Johnny Paris, American saxophonist (Johnny and the Hurricanes) (b. 1940)
May Day Holidays and observances
- May Day, Labour Day, Workers' Day, Day of the International Solidarity of Workers.
- Italy - national holiday (Giorno dei Lavoratori).
- Switzerland - official feast of Spring.
- Czech Republic - "National Love Day" – couples tend to flock to the memorial of the poet Karel Hynek Mácha in Prague and kiss.
- Lei Day - Hawaiian holiday for the Lei.
- Beltane, Lá Bealtaine, the first day of Summer in modern Ireland was celebrated by the Celts, and is now also celebrated by Neopagans and Wiccans.
- Northern Europe - Walpurgis Night.
- Roman Empire - all-female festival in honour of Bona Dea.
- Roman Empire - fourth and last day of the Floralia in honour of Flora.
- United States - Law Day, U.S.A., Loyalty Day.
- Malta - public holiday (L-Ewwel ta' Mejju (1st May Day), or Jum il-Ħaddiem (Worker's Day)).
- Maharashtra Divas (Maharashtra Day) in the state of Maharastra, India. On May 1, 1960, Maharashtra came into existence when Bombay State was split into the new linguistic states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
- Gujarat Divas (Gujarat Day) in the state of Gujarat, India. On May 1, 1960, Gujarat came into existence when Bombay State was split into the new linguistic states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
May Day Liturgical Feast days