Young Girls from the Middle Ages

May Day

Happy May 1st!

Mayday was celebrated in the medieval times but began as a spring festival. The Romans began the celebration as a festival to honor Flora, the goddess of flowers.

In the Christian church, May was seen as the month of Mary, and flower bouquets were brought to churches to honor her.

Mayday is also known for Maypole dances. The Maypole dance is a type of folk dance where dancers circle around a pole. Sometimes long ribbons are attached to the pole and each dancer takes hold of a colorful ribbon.

Also during Mayday festivities, a Queen of May is usually crowned. May 1 originally marked the first day of summer. June 21st was known as midsummer.

In 16th century France, King Charles IX was given a lily of the valley as a good luck charm. He was so pleased with the idea that he began presenting lilies of the valley to all of the ladies of the court. The tradition of giving lilies of the valley on May 1 continues in France today.

May 1 is also the day celebrating workers in many European countries. It is similar to our Labor Day in the United States. In many of these countries today is a national holiday and people celebrate those in the work force.

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