[Origins of Easter] Refer to post #18 # 19A # 19B #20

Is May Day a pagan holiday?

The celebration of May Day is deeply connected to the earth’s enduring cycle of birth, life and death, and the festival typically holds pagan values – focusing on the power and energy of the natural world. Beltane was also a Druid ritual (Druids were pagans) and there were sacrifices by fire made from a pyre of bones, symbolising the birth of the new season. These sacrifices were usually puppets – made of straw or wood from the forest – but were known as the ‘May King’.

How was May Day traditionally celebrated?

The most iconic expression of May Day celebrations is the May Pole, the centre of the celebrations and the dancing. Originally, this was a large tree in the forest that was decorated in situ, but later it was cut down and brought to the village (or community) and decorated with flowers, wreaths, handkerchiefs and ribbons. The dance around it was an expression of the joy of new life.

[excerpts from article]


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