Tag Archives: May Day

May Day Myth and Ritual: The Virgin Mary as the May Queen

Since May 1 lies about halfway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, our ancestors considered it a good time to mark the transition into summer. Indeed, in most of medieval northern Europe, which observed the Celtic calendar, May … Continue reading

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May Day, Beltane, Easter, and their Fires

This year in Russia and other Orthodox Christian countries, both Easter and May Day fall on this Sunday, May 1st. This coincidence calls us to consider the similarities in mythological, religious, and psychological meanings behind these spring seasonal holidays. Easter … Continue reading

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The Mythology of May Day III: Maypoles and their Rituals

This final post about the mythology of May Day focuses on the idea behind Maypoles, and the various rituals involving them (collectively known as “Maying”). The festivities as we know them today come to us largely from the 19th-century revival … Continue reading

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The Mythology of May Day II: The Bonfire Rituals of May Day Eve

This post continues my discussion of the mythology of May Day, along a less familiar tangent. We’ve all heard of Maypoles, but what about May Day bonfires? Traditionally, in most countries of northern Europe the May Day bonfire ritual was … Continue reading

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The Mythology of May Day I: The Goddess of May Day

May Day does not get much attention in America, but our culture has deep mythological roots in this holiday going back to our European ancestors and even to the ancient Classical world. I’ll be devoting three posts to this mythology … Continue reading

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