May Day: Welcoming Spring

Queen Elizabeth II watches maypole dancers. Source: (Photo by Tim Ireland/PA Images via Getty Images)

Although the Spring Equinox occurs several weeks earlier, many ancient cultures celebrate the return of Spring on May 1st. May Day is revered by the Celts in the British Isles, the Germanic people, and the Greeks and Romans. May Day is a pagan festival meant to herald in the warmer weather and to appeal to the pagan gods to bestow a plentiful growing season. Let’s look at how these cultures celebrated May Day and how the Celtic festival grew into an important event.