“The fair maid who, the first of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day,
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree,
Will ever after handsome be.”
– Mother Goose nursery rhyme from The Children’s Mother Goose

From its beginnings as an ancient Celtic ritual to modern day parades, festivals, and workers’ right protests, May Day—celebrated across the world on the first day of May—has embodied many sentiments and customs throughout time and changing societies. This week we discover some of those customs and look into May Day’s evolving significance.

The ancient Celtic festival of Beltane

Traditional May Day celebrations

May Basket Day

The Maypole, and if you are so inclined, Maypole dancing instructions

“May Day: America’s Traditional, Radical, Complicated Holiday:” Part 1 and Part 2

“How May Day Became a Holiday for Workers”

2017 May Day marches advocated for workers and immigrants

In Alabama: May Day in Gee’s Bend

P.S.: May 1st is also the start of Me Made May. Share your projects and follow along with other makers using the hashtags #theschoolofmaking, #memademay, and #MMMay18.

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