MONTH OF MAY: BIRTHDAY? FERTILITY? WORKERS’ LESBIANS?
May is named after the Greek goddess, Maia. She is one of the Pleiades who are known as the seven sisters. Lesbian association? Some myths say that they removed themselves from men and took off to become the stars.
The month celebrates the end of winter and Anglo-Saxons were happy to call May “Tri-Milchi,” which means three milkings. The cows had new grass and were happy to be milked three times a day.
Years ago, In Britain, the first of May was a time for celebration with music, dancing and games. School children gathered garlands of flowers. They would sell these to eager or busy young maidens who adorned themselves to dance around a Maypole. In the morning, these maidens would wash their faces with the first May dew to insure a healthy complexion all year.
superstitions are also associated with May. No maid would contemplate marrying in May. “Marry in May and you’ll rue the day.” Another superstition was “if you wash a blanket in May, you’ll wash a family member away.”
The First of May is known as International Workers’ Day. In the late 19th century, leaders of the socialist Second International were fighting for an eight-hour week and they called for a world day of protest to be held on May 1, 1890.
There is one May 1st tradition that should be revived. Up until the late 1890s, May baskets of flowers were left on neighbor’s doorsteps. Maybe, we could leave a basket of food or have youngsters