Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy May Day

I remember May Day as a child.  In school we would make baskets with flowers in them to deliver to our mothers' doorstep, ring the bell and hide.  They'd feign surprise and be 'delighted' by our antics.  We thought we were so clever.

Here's what's happening in Ukraine this May Day.  Read it and weep.

Have you ever danced around the May Pole?  No doubt I did as a small child, but the only one I remember was, as a teenager, celebrating at Theresa's house on Partington Ridge in Big Sur.  We erected a pole and danced around it.  Can you guess we were kinda hippie-ish?  I think we roasted a goat as well.  Drugs and time have done their damage to my memory.....

May Day has its origins in the pre-Christian celebration of spring, Beltane.  But leave to Americans, yes, particularly Chicagoans to adopt their own special interpretation.  In an effort to advocate for the 8 hour work day, a flyer was printed (1886) that said:

  • Workingmen to Arms!
  • War to the Palace, Peace to the Cottage, and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS.
  • The wage system is the only cause of the World's misery. It is supported by the rich classes, and to destroy it, they must be either made to work or DIE.
  • One pound of DYNAMITE is better than a bushel of BALLOTS!
  • MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT HOURS with weapons in your hands to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds, police, and militia in proper manner.

Reminds me of the Occupy Movement.  We see how far that got us, right?  The line that gets me here is, "one pound of DYNAMITE...."  How very very little things change.

How do you mark May Day? 

1 comment:

  1. May Day was always a big festival when I was in grade school. Lucky eighth graders got to plait the Maypole and each class did a special dance or song. I don't think the schools acknowledge May Day anymore. Too bad.