Monday 1 May 2017
May Day Holiday
May Day is a bank holiday in England, Ireland Scotland and Wales and is observed on the 1st Monday in May each year.
May has many traditions and celebrations. For the convenience of the general public, many May Day activities have now been moved to the new May Day holiday which is observed on the first Monday of the month. This Monday is a bank holiday in the UK and citizens enjoy a day off school and work.
Many of the May Day celebrations take place over the weekend as well as on the ‘May Day’ Monday. The weekend is known as bank holiday weekend because it comes with the extra day holiday on the Monday.
May Day Celebrations in the United Kingdom
May Day is the first day of the month of May and is a celebration of the beginning of spring. In addition to this seasonal observance, the day is also connected with love and romance. For those who celebrate May Day as a banking holiday in the UK and people can go out and about and celebrate the nice weather.
With the extra banking holidays being put in place by the government, May Day has become part of a long string of holidays which some have dubbed the Second Christmas.
Traditional Activities of May Day in the United Kingdom
There are specific traditions for May Day in the UK, including some classified as celebrations and others classed as being rites. Each of these special events has its own place in the overall tradition of May Day. The first of these is the act of Morris dancing. Morris dancing is a specific dance that has been handed down through the generations. It involves certain sets of instruments such the accordion, the fife, and the drum. In addition to the dancing, the performers also dress in odd clothing. Some of it is traditional clothing, while other types of clothing are more radical in appearance. Many of the revellers also paint their faces in order to add to the celebratory spirit of the day.
After Christianity became the major religion of the peoples of the United Kingdom, May Day changed from being a pagan day to being a Christian Day to being a secular holiday celebrated by all. Other people tend to celebrate other elements of the spring season such as fertility and life.