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Πέμπτη, 1 Μαΐου 2014

May Day - Customs and Traditions in May

May Day - British Culture - British Customs and Traditions in May





 







History and Origin

Learn about the roots of this
secular celebration and
the ancient traditions like the Maypoles, the greens..
.







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Maypole dancing






CELEBRATING MAY DAY I N BRITAIN     







 

 Beltane, May Day, May 1st in ppt



 Fun Facts About May Day



  • In Ancient Greece
    they celebrated the Festival of Chloris. She was the goddess of flowers
    and spring. The Ancient Romans had a similar festival in honor of the
    goddess Flora.
  • Morris Dancers in England
    wear hats decorated with flowers, suspenders, and ankle bells. They
    stomp their feet, wave handkerchiefs, and bang sticks together when they
    dance.
  • One traditional May Day dance in England is called the Cumberland Square.
  • A Maypole stands all year long in Inkwell England. It has been there since 1894.
  • Maypoles were sometimes made from old ship's masts.




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May Day has a special significance in a number of cultures.
Especially in Europe, the traditions followed are reminiscent of
fertility festivals of the ancient Germanic and Roman civilizations.
Non-European cultures may have customs that are similar. For your next
May Day celebration, try some of these suggestions.




 Image:Celebrate May Day Step 13.jpg



may day basketCrafts for KidsMay Day Activities

 

 

 





May Day is not about maypoles: the history of international workers' day

Forget the Morris dancers, May Day's roots are in the fight for workers' rights and it has long been a focus for protest . A MUST READ ARTICLE 


May Day - the Real Labor Day



May 1st, International Workers' Day, commemorates the historic struggle of
working people throughout the world, and is recognized in every country except
the United States, Canada, and South Africa. This despite the fact that the
holiday began in the 1880s in the United States, with the fight for an
eight-hour work day.



In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions passed a
resolution stating that eight hours would constitute a legal day's work from
and after May 1, 1886. The resolution called for a general strike to achieve
the goal, since legislative methods had already failed. With workers being
forced to work ten, twelve, and fourteen hours a day, rank-and-file support
for the eight-hour movement grew rapidly, despite the indifference and
hostility of many union leaders. By April 1886, 250,000 workers were involved
in the May Day movement.



The heart of the movement was in Chicago, organized primarily by the anarchist
International Working People's Association. Businesses and the state were
terrified by the increasingly revolutionary character of the movement and
prepared accordingly. The police and militia were increased in size and
received new and powerful weapons financed by local business leaders.
Chicago's Commercial Club purchased a $2000 machine gun for the Illinois
National Guard to be used against strikers. Nevertheless, by May 1st, the
movement had already won gains for many Chicago clothing cutters, shoemakers,
and packing-house workers. But on May 3, 1886, police fired into a crowd of
strikers at the McCormick Reaper Works Factory, killing four and wounding
many. Anarchists called for a mass meeting the next day in Haymarket Square
to protest the brutality.



The meeting proceeded without incident, and by the time the last speaker was
on the platform, the rainy gathering was already breaking up, with only a few
hundred people remaining. It was then that 180 cops marched into the square
and ordered the meeting to disperse. As the speakers climbed down from the
platform, a bomb was thrown at the police, killing one and injuring seventy.
Police responded by firing into the crowd, killing one worker and injuring
many others.



Although it was never determined who threw the bomb, the incident was used as
an excuse to attack the entire Left and labor movement. Police ransacked the
homes and offices of suspected radicals, and hundreds were arrested without
charge. Anarchists in particular were harassed, and eight of Chicago's most
active were charged with conspiracy to murder in connection with the Haymarket
bombing. A kangaroo court found all eight guilty, despite a lack of evidence
connecting any of them to the bomb-thrower (only one was even present at the
meeting, and he was on the speakers' platform), and they were sentenced to
die. Albert Parsons, August Spies, Adolf Fischer, and George Engel were hanged
on November 11, 1887. Louis Lingg committed suicide in prison, The remaining
three were finally pardoned in 1893.



It is not surprising that the state, business leaders, mainstream union
officials, and the media would want to hide the true history of May Day,
portraying it as a holiday celebrated only in Moscow's Red Square. In its
attempt to erase the history and significance of May Day, the United States
government declared May 1st to be "Law Day", and gave us instead Labor Day - a
holiday devoid of any historical significance other than its importance as a
day to swill beer and sit in traffic jams.



Nevertheless, rather than suppressing labor and radical movements, the events
of 1886 and the execution of the Chicago anarchists actually mobilized many
generations of radicals. Emma Goldman, a young immigrant at the time, later
pointed to the Haymarket affair as her political birth. Lucy Parsons, widow of
Albert Parsons, called upon the poor to direct their anger toward those
responsible - the rich. Instead of disappearing, the anarchist movement only
grew in the wake of Haymarket, spawning other radical movements and
organizations, including the Industrial Workers of the World.



By covering up the history of May Day, the state, business, mainstream unions
and the media have covered up an entire legacy of dissent in this country.
They are terrified of what a similarly militant and organized movement could
accomplish today, and they suppress the seeds of such organization whenever
and wherever they can. As workers, we must recognize and commemorate May Day
not only for it's historical significance, but also as a time to organize
around issues of vital importance to working-class people today.



As IWW songwriter Joe Hill wrote in one of his most powerful songs:





Workers of the world, awaken!

Rise in all your splendid might

Take the wealth that you are making,

It belongs to you by right.

No one will for bread be crying

We'll have freedom, love and health,

When the grand red flag is flying

In the Workers' Commonwealth.



This article written and distributed by: l.gaylord@m.cc.utah.edu




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