Mayday! Mayday!

Lina Beard. How to amuse yourself and others. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1893.

Lina Beard. How to amuse yourself and others. New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1893. From the Harvard University Library

Hey Everybody, it’s May Day! May Day means different things to different people. If you are in a boat or plane and need help, Mayday is a distress signal. May Day is also an ancient European Pagan celebration of spring which goes by many other names and often involves dancing around a maypole ,which continued through Christianity in many countries. In this country, dancing around the maypole has a long tradition. Here is a great collection of maypole postcards for your enjoyment. May Day is also known as International Workers’ Day and sometimes Labor Day and is often associated with Socialists and Communists (which is why our Labor Day is not on May 1st). More recently in the U.S., May Day has become a day to march for immigrant rights.

There is also something called a May Day Pie, more commonly know as the (trademarked) Derby Pie.

Whatever you are doing this May Day, it is bound to be HOT. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat plenty of pie.

Here is some fine archival footage of young children dancing around a maypole in 1929 from British Pathé.


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