The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Children to help SE celebrate May

By André Green/se news editor

SE Campus will celebrate May Day with the collaboration of the student activities and students and teachers from Ashworth Elementary School.

The Ashworth Elementary School children will demonstrate traditional maypole dances Tuesday, May 1, at 10:30 a.m in the ESED Commons.

While historians are unsure of the specific origin of the May Day celebration, many believe the festival beginnings were derived in order to honor Flora, the Roman goddess of spring.

Worshippers believed warmer, brighter days, flower growth and abundant harvests were a direct result of the May celebration.

As the Roman Empire spread throughout Europe, so did the May Day celebration.

As times changed, so did the meanings behind the May Day celebration. Many countries added their own rituals to the celebration, the best known of which was the maypole.

Villagers would go into a nearby forest, find a tree, usually birch, cut it down and then ceremonially bring it to the town square, where it would be painted and decorated with ribbons and flowers.

Streamers were arranged on the pole so villagers could dance around the pole, weaving the streamers in a specific pattern.

During medieval times, pre-Christian Britons associated the holiday time with the rites of fertility in addition to its celebration of the year’s harvest.

Oftentimes when the villagers would go into the forest to select a tree, they would engage in brief sexual encounters.

In the 16th century, British Parliament, who related the practice to idol worship and labeled the celebration hedonistic and heathenistic, banned maypoles.

The May Day celebration arrived in the United States in the 17th century but was opposed by the
Puritans who were strongly against the ritual.

Although the tradition is not widely observed by the general public in the United States, elementary and middle school children often perform the traditional dances.

For more information, contact 817-515-3595.

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