A More Innocent May Day



These two photos appeared today on a community page for the county where I live. I stole them. The top photo shows schoolgirls performing a traditional round dance, while in the lower  photo, wagons full of chairs and other items arrive as preparations continue for the May Day picnic.

Some people reminisced about a woman known to all as “Aunt Francis” who made sure that the girls had their white dresses and who performed other charitable work for the school.

Obviously, this was not a capital P-Pagan event. If you went back in your time machine and talked about “Beltane,” no one would have had a clue what you meant, even the prominent Anglo-Irish ranching family, I suspect.

It was a secular celebration — and where did it go? Did the evolution of May Day as a day of organized labor solidarity —and later, as the high holy day of the Soviet Union, with missile launchers rolling through Red Square, kill it completely?

Nothing much left there to re-Paganize.