In And Around Hannibal: April 28, 2012

by Rita Hooper

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday – no hurry, please don’t call the EMT’s or the coast guard – I’m just trying to get your attention.

Mayday when spelled as one word is a universal distress signal used primarily by seamen and aviators. It is said three times so it can’t easily be confused with something else in a noisy situation. This Tuesday is another May Day. We’ll call this May Day #2.

The earliest May Days were held before Christianity and are related to Celtic and Germanic festivals as well as the Roman festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers.

In these early days, May Day was a time of great pagan celebration. It denoted the first day of summer and the end of a long, hard winter – the “unfarmable winter.”
Fast forward to the advent of Christianity and many of the May Day celebrations were either abandoned or a more secular form was taken.

Most of us can remember if the weather was nice, we might go out during school lunch hour and dance around the May Pole.

I can remember making baskets and filling them with flowers and candy and leaving them on the desk of someone special to me — maybe we were assigned, a memory is not always a terrible thing to loose!

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News

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