I was taught in elementary school that we didn’t celebrate May Day anymore because it was a Communist holiday.
Not only was this a lame excuse not to celebrate a holiday, it also wasn’t true.
In ancient and medieval Europe, seasons were determined not by equinoxes and solstices, but by the days that fell directly in between, known as “cross-quarter days.” The first cross-quarter day of the year is Groundhog Day or Candlemas, between winter solstice …Read more
In the mid-1800s May 1 was the de facto date for labor groups to re-negotiate rates with employers, precisely because May 1 marked the beginning of the summer. Workers were in greater demand in summer than in the winter months, which gave them more bargaining power. Also, the traditional holiday May Day was one of the few days workers had off that wasn’t spent at church.
As societies became more industrialized, May Day workers’ gatherings increased in number and intensity.