Monday, May 01, 2017

May 1 to me will always be about Maypole dances

This is a repost from May 1, 2013

When I was a kid growing up in San Francisco, our public schools would have these huge May Day celebrations - complete with a Maypole Dance. We would practice for weeks - we wore pretty dresses and made flower wreaths for our hair.  We were matched with our dance partner - another boy.  At that age, I hated holding hands with boys. Their hands always felt rough -  The boys hated it even more.  I remember Stanley Gibbs, would spit on his hands - he got in trouble for that. We also didn't have just one Maypole, but each class had their own. - On our playground, there were multiple Maypoles and it was quite the beautiful sight to see.

Of course, back then I had no way knowing that this was considered a pagan ritual celebrating spring fertility rites. That was never taught to us - For us little kids, it was the big spring festival we had every year and it was fun.

When we moved down the coast, the public schools didn't observe May Day celebrations. And when my kids went to school, on the peninsula -  they too, didn't observe it. Even the Husband, who grew up in Orange County, didn't have them at his schools.

From what I have heard, they haven't hosted Maypole dances in San Francisco public schools in years.  I wonder what happened?

Instead, May Day has been taken over by other groups - not as peaceful as they want you to believe -  Now immigrants march - union workers march - it's about "fighting" for your rights -  dignity of migrant farm workers, blah blah blah.   It is now called International Workers Day. 

Which would you rather have?  A fun day with beautiful children dancing, singing, flowers and ribbons?  Or billy clubs, clinched fists, spilled blood, and anti-establishment ruckus and revelry?

I'm sorry, Pagan or not, I miss the Maypole....


  1. That must have been a California thing. I lived outside LA in '51-55 and we did the Maypole thing also, I remember it well sans the flowers in the hair and girls hand holding (may or not have had both, I just don't remember). We moved back east and no one knew what I was talking about. I still celebrate as it is my big brothers birthday, mine is tomorrow, and my cousins is the third.

    1. Well, Happy Birthday then. :-)

  2. I'll go with the Pagan rites for May Day. WE never had a Maypole when I was in school in Michigan. I always thought it was kinda cool.

  3. We never had a Maypole when I was growing up. But I loved reading about yours!

  4. I have heard of May Day but to be honest I know nothing about the day

  5. We gave May baskets on May Day. The Maypole was talked about but not done much. Never knew it was a Pagan thing back then either.

  6. They never had the Maypole dances at our school when I was kid. It looks fun. I have heard of May Day though. I love the month of May, it's my birthday month!



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