A number of our European translators have this week been celebrating Labour Day – an annual public holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. In many countries, it is linked to International Workers Day, celebrated on the 1st May. So, is our May Day, which the UK will be celebrating in the sunshine (please!) on Monday, also linked with the labour movement?
In the UK May Day is more often associated with the spring and is also called the Spring Bank Holiday. It is actually related to pagan festivals celebrated across the Northern Hemisphere, originating well before Christian times, celebrated on the 1st of May, and signifying the first day of summer. And it certainly feels like summer has arrived here in sunny Cambridge!
Nowadays, the holiday is taken on a Monday, as are most of our bank holidays. But this is a fairly recent development, only going back to 1978. There were rumours it may be scrapped and replaced with an October bank holiday but no word on that recently!
May Day is a time for many an eccentric English custom, from Morris Dancing to May Queens and motorbike rallies to hobby horse festivals. This year I suspect barbeques and lawn mowers will be more the norm but I would love to hear if you or your community are doing something special this year – let me know!
Whatever you are doing, have a wonderful weekend and here’s to the first day of Summer!