Sunday, 1 May 2011
May 1st is of course a very big day in the political and folkloric calendar...you pick which is your most favouritest way of celebrating it. Or go crazy and celebrate both!
International Workers Day is generally recognised as a celebration of the international labour movement and as such has over a century of its own traditions and stories. Many of these stories and some cool banner galleries can be found here. Or here. WARNING - these pages contain politics.
The image above is from a cracking Imperial War Museum site called What Lies Beneath...which explores British experiences of the Cold War. Not very May Day I agree...but what a cool banner eh?
For the more craft minded, May Day March banners of all sorts are celebrated in the book "Banner Bright"
Before it was the festival of the international worker, May 1st was still cause for celebration and gathering together, at Beltane. It's a nice night, and there's still time for you to nip out and cut a few twigs off a birch tree for hanging above the door...and in fact if you nip along to the nearest birch tree wood with your loved one, you can kill two birds with one stone, by enjoying the other tradition associated with Beltane. (In case this isn't clear...I'm talking about "fertility rituals").
Or if you are just after some good old fashioned folk tunes..here's a nice Medieval Baebes version of Scarborough Fayre, with the (really rather sad) story explored in stained glass.
For comedy value, here is some obligatory traditional English folk dancing as enjoyed by folk group The Unthanks
And finally. May Day being associated with The Green Man is as good a reason as any to watch Simon Armitages documentary about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight...