May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration of Spring. It’s a day of political protests. It’s a neopagan festival, a saint’s feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday. May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night.
The most important celebration associated with May 1st is My Mums Birthday. This year, 2012, we will gather over the weekend for a family picnic at Caloundra where the usual feasting and merriment will combine with some fishing.
Growing up Mums birthday was always shared with (Uncle) Frank Marsden who lived up the hill from us and young Shane Paul who lived a similar distance down the hill. Both of these families were key characters in our lives when we lived in Napier with whom we shared the joys and sorrows of one anothers families.
My May-day memories include learning a MayPole dance in my younger years and while I am not sure if this was at school or part of ballet lessons – I can confidently recall the tangling of the ribbons in an inelegant mess. I also fondly recall the May Pole swings at Port Ahuriri School the we swang on for hours at playtimes and lunch times on the long knotted ropes. I recall not being so fond of the blisters!!
No matter the other memories, events and people May 1st will always be My Mums Birthday. Happy Birthday Mum.