May Day Celebrations May 1, 2023 307 words

After a long winter, many people celebrate the coming of warm weather. Some of us are delighted to be able to experience another season.
The rites of springtime celebrations go back to Celtic and Norse cultures. Longer days and warmer temperatures lift spirits. In Northern Europe, the day includes cake, , drinks and of course, traditional maypole dances. Many countries have made May 1st a national holiday, having the day off from work.
The traditional May pole dance is performed with young couples swirling and weaving around other couples. Each dancer twirls a long scarf. Originally the scarves were attached to the top of a pole and formed a decorative pattern from the dance.
Other May Day activities include, large bonfires along with the dances. In 1815, The American Indian counsel approved and designated the second Saturday in May for Tribal dancing. This tradition continues. Tribes gather to pow-wow ,to dance, chant and perform drumming. Native crafts and food vendors sell their wares.
The oldest and largest May Day celebration is found in the Hawaiian Islands. There the schools perform Hawaiian Lei making with materials of shells, flowers and vines. The leis are given to friends and family members. On May Day, students show their knowledge of Hawaiian history and culture. Groups compete to win top honors in ancient story chant, hula, and costume making. Each Island had a different dance and story to tell of the myths and stories of their inland.
So on May Day this year, take time to appreciate the diversity of the cultures that encompasses our Spring celebrations.

May Day leis hang from the pole.
Children weave, greenery as they dance.
Practicing all year for dancers to shine.
Reciting ancient Hawaiian rhymes.
Pele and Laka smile down.
From the volcano’s rims. May 1, 2023

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