Adult Speaking Class, Level 2: May Day

5th May 2020

May Day

Compare May Day in the UK and in Viet Nam

How do you ‘read’ these pictures ?

In the UK, it a pagan celebration. In other countries, it is more political.

[pagan = a religion where many gods may be worshipped and dating back before Christianity]

History

The first mention of a May Day celebration dates back to the Roman times, and a celebration of the goddess Flora.

Flora,Roman Goddess of flowers. OK , so she is not a real person but Flora certainly had an influence in early Greek and Roman societies and later in the art world. But alr. Andrea Mantegna, Greek And Roman Mythology, Flora Flowers, Moon Garden, Sacred Feminine, Luca, Beltane, Italian Painters, Gods And Goddesses

This would be a festival over several days, and included theatre performances.

May Day continued to be associated with fertility and the worship of mythological or pagan gods. The celebrations would often involve dancing around a maypole, and crowning a May Day Queen.

Dental products and supplies as a wholesale worldwide

A modern may pole, this one from Sweden, where it is now used to celebrate Midsummer, not the traditional 1st May.

Britain has a long tradition of May Day celebrations, from at least the C15th. However, many church leaders objected to the pagan origins (worshipping old gods, not the one Christian God) and celebrations were banned in many places.

Today, May Day celebrations are not so popular, and in cities, one is more likely to see political demonstrations, than prancing on the village green

In 1889, 1st May was selected as the International workers’ Day

What do you think about these photos ? Political, or cultural ?

How about these photos from Nigeria, UK and Hawaii ?

May Day: APC, PDP, others felicitate with Nigerian workers
Video ~ The Kings Morris Dancers | King's Lynn Online
leis

In Hawaii, May Day is a little different. The flower necklaces, or leis, are given to people as a sign of friendship, celebrating the culture of Hawaii or the ‘aloha spirit.’

The festival is celebrating in school and communities, with many free concerts, dancing, guest speakers and food.

However, it is not all peace and love:

Clashes as May Day protesters march in cities across Europe ...

Protesters clash with police in Berlin, Germany.

Meet The Man That Made A Decision That Saved Your Life And You Don ...

During the time of the USSR, May Day parades were held, with seemingly endless displays of tanks, soldiers, missiles and weapons of all description.

In Hong Kong in 2019, protesters used May Day to demonstrate about bad working conditions.

In Literature, we have the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorn, ‘The Maypole of Merry Mount’:

Early American Literature: The Maypole of Merry-Mount

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