I have just returned from this year’s mayday festival and I have been reminded how much I enjoy the traditions of this celebration. This is, for me, a festival I can experience and participate in without the heavy guilt of hypocrisy that I sometimes feel at Easter or Christmas. With it’s secular, pagan, roots it is free from religious authority and this allows me to own it and enjoy it’s honest and innocent celebration of life, fertility and the natural cycle of things.
The maypole, the flutes, and the floral crowns create a timeless picture that ties us, with coloured ribbons, to a shared history that pre-dates orthodox religions.
As I watched this gentle and innocent heralding of summer I remembered that for every force of nature there is an equal and opposite one: a resistance.
Madness and mischief making have always had a presence in festivals and carnivals. It is a time for the unheard to have a voice , so this mayday I will remember, and celebrate, the human spirit that is the resistance.
Outside the sun is shining and everything in the garden is rosy, but I fear there is a storm brewing.