Celebrate May Day with us …
May Day is the first day of May , which is an official holiday in many countries all over the world (all Workers’ Unions regard this day as a day of strike for their rights rather than a holiday). In most cases May Day is synonymous to the World Day of Workers’ Unions (Labour Day) , that is , the day dedicated to all the struggles fought over the years for workers’ rights.
The significance and the celebration of May (Labour) Day goes back to ancient years since this day marked the beginning of the spring season.
May Day is also known as the biggest spring celebration since it is the symbol of the regeneration of nature. This is probably why the most familiar tradition for the day is the making of wreaths with all kinds of flowers !
It is typical of May Day celebrations to see many people going out in the country where they have picnics, sing and dance, and pick all sorts of flowers for the making of wreaths. These wreaths are hung – usually over the front door, on the wall, or at some other conspicuous part of the house.
The tradition of the “May Day Wreath
The making of this wreath, on the day before May Day , is probably the only tradition which revives the rich celebrations of ancient times on the occasion of the coming of Spring and the regeneration of nature . This occasion was elaborately celebrated in ancient years and the fact that it still exists is proof of our bonds with ancient times and our century-old history and culture.
The wreath was made from a strong but flexible stick –usually dogwood or vine- and it was then decorated with fresh green leaves and little branches from fruit trees –if possible, bearing fruit- e.g. almond tree branches bearing almonds, fig tree bearing figs, pomegranate etc. but, more often than not, wheat or barley spikes were also used as well as fresh green onions and garlic were also used. This wreath was supposed to bring fertility and drive away all evil. In rural areas it wasn’t necessary to make a wreath. It could very well be substituted by a “bouquet” made of fresh little branches of various trees e.g. olive trees, fig trees, orange trees, along with various flowers.