May Day has a special significance, especially in Europe, where traditions follow festivals of the ancient Germanic and Roman cultures. There are many special ways to celebrate this particular day. Outdoor gatherings, dances, and enjoying the food are usual part of the May Day holiday.
From ancient history, the First of May is mostly associated with celebrating the springtime fertility. Perhaps the most popular one of all the traditions is dancing around the maypole.
On a traditional English May Day you can also see the Morris dance and the crowning of a May Queen, a personification of flora and springtime. In Germany and Sweden Walpurgis Night celebration is held on the night before the May Day. Walpurgis bonfires are prepared to get rid of evil spirits and protect people from harm. In France there is a custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, to each other on the 1
st of May.
Nowadays young people use this holiday as an opportunity to party while many families go on a May picnic for some fresh air. During the last years the tradition of “May baskets”, small baskets of sweets or flowers usually left anonymously on the neighbors’ doorsteps, is gaining more popularity.
The most important thing to keep in mind as you celebrate the first day of May is to have fun, enjoy yourself with your family and friends. Swedbrand wishes you a nice May Day holiday!