“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.
In Alabama: May Day in Gee’s Bend