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Silver Wind
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Silver Wind

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Join date : 2007-07-18
Age : 37
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PostSubject: May Day   Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:37 am

Like other celebrations May Day is a time of festivity filled to the brim with customs, traditions and superstitions. Celebrations concerning May Day are very old indeed, and even as far back as 1240 AD priests were complaining about May Day celebrations. At one point some of the customs of May Day, many of which were concerned with fertility, water and tree worship, were banned centuries ago by the Puritans, only to be revived in post-Puritan days. Many early references to May Day mention the custom of 'going-a-maying' into the countryside to collect flowers and greenery. Customs performed during May Day include maypole dancing, morris dancing, and the singing of May Carols. Many superstitions were also associated with May Day, especially it seems with fishermen. Some fishermen refused to fish at all on this day as they felt it was bad luck to do so, whereas others deemed it very lucky to be the one to reel in the first catch on May Day morning. Other customs and superstitions on this day involved waking early and washing your face in the morning dew, and also blankets soaked in dew were thought to cure the sick and ill. In 1602 it was written that:


'poor people say that a swelling of the neck may be cured by the patient, if a woman, going before sunrise on the first of May to the churchyard collecting therefrom the dew' .


Parades involving the May Queen too are performed on this day, and even older traditions have a May Queen and May King, also known as the May Lady and May Lord. Another popular tradition involving parades were the May Day horse parades. The horses were finely decorated with flowers, ribbons and rosettes and paraded through town and countryside. This custom seems to have been most popular in Northern England.

http://www.homestead.com/englishheathenism/folkcustoms.html

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