May has arrived, and with it, my committment to do do better at blogging. I just updated my website and sent out my electronic newsletter, in which I mentioned (probably very foolishly), that I would be blogging three to four times a week, so here goes. BTW, you might want to check my updated site at http://www.catherinespangler.com. I've got excerpts from my upcoming book, The Edge of Darkness, and a new contest going.
As I started this blog today, I began wondering about May Day, and realized it has two different meanings. The first is the celebration of May 1, which I think is hardly ever done in the U.S. any more. But I have vague memories of maypoles and long streamers of ribbons being wrapped around a tall pole, and lots of flowers. But I never really knew what the actual celebration was about. So I did a little Google search, and found this link: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7280/beltane.html
Here's some of what it said:
There are four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year and the modern Witches’ calendar, as well. The two greatest of these are Halloween (the beginning of winter) and May Day (the beginning of summer). Being opposite each other on the wheel of the year, they separate the year into halves . . . . May Day ushers in the fifth month of the modern calendar year, the month of May. This month is named in honor of the Goddess Maia, originally a Greek mountain nymph, later identified as the most beautiful of the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades. By Zeus, she is also the mother of Hermes, God of magic. Maia’s parents were Atlas and Pleione, a sea nymph.
Interesting, at least I thought so. Then I got to thinking about the fact that we also use the phrase "mayday" as a distress signal (very opposite of a spring celebration), and did a Google search on that as well. Here's what I found:
may·day (mā'dā')n. An international radiotelephone signal word used by aircraft and ships in distress. [From French (venez) m'aider, (come) help me!.]
So now you know all about May Day and mayday. And I actually posted to my blog and thought of something to talk about.
And hopefully, I'll be blogging again soon. Until then, happy reading!