Somewhere, lost between the risen Lord of Easter Sunday and the more laid-back Dos Equis guy of Cinco de Mayo, is the Roman flower goddess Flora, who used to reign supreme as THE party icon this time of year.
Nowadays, any May Pole dancing is purely coincidental, at strip clubs, with the only reference to Flora the flower goddess being dancers named “Daisy.” How did a celebration dating back before Jesus somehow get lost in the shuffle between Easter eggs and Mexican beer bottles?
Even when I was a kid, which I’d like to point out was well after the resurrection and as recent as the 1970s A.D., I remember dancing around the sixth-grade May Pole and savoring the opportunity to hold hands with Sara Getlost as she cried out in springtime rapture, “Ewww! Ewww! Your hands are SWEATY! Ewww!”
It’s that kind of wild, springtime ecstasy that May Day and the goddess Flora were all about.
So what happened? Or perhaps more importantly: Is Sara Getlost now an alcoholic single mother of six living in an abandoned trailer, as my Mom predicted in her loving attempt to console me that school year? We’ll probably never know for sure. But even at age 12, I thought my Mom’s prediction was a bit harsh; I wouldn’t wish six kids on anyone. Regardless, what I do know is that the true spirit of unabashed springtime revelry was lost somewhere between holding sweaty hands with Sara Getlost and the first Girls Gone Wild video. I say this because, unlike Easter and Cinco De Mayo, the goddess Flora’s party was open to everyone.
And because Flora’s annual May Day party had no stipulations or restrictions, it was celebrated for centuries by every country in the Northern Hemisphere.
Except Morocco; they already have enough parties.
For the rest of us, dancing around the May Pole was just the beginning. Each country celebrated the return of spring in its own unique, generally intoxicated way, which was inclusive to everyone. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to be Mexican to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. I’m just saying that if you find yourself drunk and wearing a sombrero while wandering the streets of East L.A., being Mexican wouldn’t hurt.
As May Day approaches, I hope you’ll consider joining me and others in helping re-unite the entire northern hemisphere on May 1 by celebrating spring with flower goddess Flora. Naturally, there will be exciting activities for everyone, including:
Together, we an make May Day great again!
Actually, my hands are getting sweaty just thinking about it…
This post first appeared at the now defunct Long Awkward Pause on April 28, 2014.
36 thoughts on “Grab your streamers, we’re bringing May Day back!”
Kim is installing the May Pole on the balcony as we speak. That’s what he’s calling it today.
Hey, any excuse for a pole… 😉
A mantra I live by.
I sooooo remember the May Pole, pretty dresses, ribbons and SWEATY HANDS.
It’s a collective experience for sure! No doubt, Sarah Getlost is still having nightmares about my sweaty hands.
You’re already set for the celebration, what with your red thong from your Nedinator video.
I’m practicing my Clint Eastwood impression. Go ahead, make my May day.
I think we’re talking about two different kinds of May poles, Steve…
That’s a stick-y subject.
I’m hard-pressed to disagree.
A pole poll may be necessary.
I see your point.
How about those Bears? UH
Hahahha! *shoulder punch*
LAP is defunct?
They were one of the few sites that actually published my stuff!
Of course, they lost two posts years ago and so I never wrote for them again.
Oh, never mind..
You should talk to Ross about this. He’s doing a foodie superhero movie. Surely there’s a place for a kale leaf on your maypole and a place for a maypole on a superhero.Or something. Collaborate! 😉
Hahahaha! I read it and we’ve already started our screenplay: Captain Cuisinart: The Age of May Day.
Hahaha! That’s great! 😀
May Day was always a day when we’d pick whatever flowers (weeds) we could find, and leave the bouquet on our neighbor’s stoop, after we rang the doorbell and ran away. I hope we didn’t pick too many of their daffodils.
Ahhhh, the good ol’ days, when you could do that without getting shot at.
i love may day and have a pole in my car.
Sure, Beth. That’s one way to explain the pole…
We Canadians tend to be a bit more pragmatic – not every dream ends with Mama’s apple pie:
Or bannana cream.
I know you saw what I did there – The meme alone suggests you shouldn’t follow every dream but when combined with the story of your girl crush on “Getlost” it implies that you should follow every dream.
You’re too clever, too early in the morning, Paul 😉
Yeah I had to point that out as it took me 1/2 hour to figure it out and after all that effort I wanted to make sure, ya know. Bwahahaha!
Doesn’t everybody dance around the May Pole? And then there’s that other mantra that always comes to mind this time of year: “Hooray, hooray! The 1st of May! Outdoor f***ing starts today!” (Unless you live in Canada, then perhaps a few more weeks indoors would be prudent.)
HaHaHaHa! I’ve never heard that one! Although, living in Oregon, it would explain the mating sounds I’ve heard in the woods. I always thought it was Canadian geese…
We Canadians appreciate your concern. It is a bit nipply, I mean nippy up here still!
I was always told that the first boy you saw on May Day was the boy you’d marry…which was gross because it was usually my brother! I always secretly hoped there were exceptions because…ah, gross!
Lol! I think I would have stayed in my room until May 2…
i was gonna say wow
Go ahead and say it, Cutie… I swear, no judgements here!
And thanks for reading 😉
This is still one of my most favorite pieces of yours, and I laughed out loud again!
It also has some nostalgia for me because it inspired my most-hits-in-one day post “Butt Cheeks and Elbows.”
Got a May pole I can borrow? I’m needing some inspiration 🙂
Hahaha! Anytime I can inspire butt cheeks and elbows, it’s a good day.
And I might be able to wrangle up a brass fire pole for you 😉