Sunday, May 1, 2016
Combine May Day with Naked Gardening Day!
For people like me, May Day just might as well be considered a High Holy Day. It is an Eco-Socialist's dream day. Too bad so few celebrate it. Although May Day has a rival now: May 2nd has been designated "Naked Gardening Day". That holiday should be scrapped and the nakedness should just be added to the May Day celebrations. Although Fidel Castro might not approve. Nor is imagining the old Politburo reviewing the military weapons parade in their birthday suits very appealing.
You can trace the Pagan holiday of Beltane back to herding and pastoralism of the Celtic people from pre-agriculture days thousands of years ago. They celebrated Beltane on May 1st. Modern day Pagans tend to be Earthy sorts of people and you can find them in Urban Bohemian areas building a bonfire on this evening. These Modern Day Pagans have a randy saying: "Hurray, Hurray, it is the First of May; Outdoor Fucking begins today."
That seems a whole lot more fun than spreading fertilizer and hoeing while naked in a garden.
It was a bit more innocent of a holiday when I was a child. We would make a May Basket and then find a person of the opposite sex with whom we were enamored. You then would leave the basket at their front door and ring the doorbell.
And then you ran away. The person who got the May Basket is supposed to chase you down and give you a kiss. This is a child's game that needs to come back into style.
But the reason why we really don't celebrate May Day properly is because of its connection with the struggle for an eight hour work day. For this I borrow from an article written in the IWW newsletter:
"On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public's eye."
May Day has its origins in the United States. It is a holiday for labor agitation. It is a holiday created by American Socialists, Communists and Anarchists. Later Brezhnev and company stole the holiday and used it for displaying their military might. They usurped an American tradition. May Day is as American as apple pie. Bring it back.