雖然May Day在近年來全球稱之為勞動節，但卻有世界歷史悠久的主要節慶之一。May Day的節慶在西元前一千年就流傳到現在。就像許多古老節慶都會有異教的連接。
對於古老大英國的督伊德教憎侶, 五月一日舉行Beltane是每年的第二大節慶。那時被認為，這天劃分一年為兩半。另外的半年結束在11月1 日的Samhain 節日(代表冬天的開始，新年)。
對於羅馬人來說五月初也是一項重大節慶。在每年的四月二十八至五月二日羅馬人將這為期五天的榮譽慶祝奉獻給Flora (花神)，這節日俗稱為 Floralia。當羅馬人戰勝英國時將這項花神的儀式帶入英國。漸漸的這項花神儀式節慶也加入了Beltane和今日的May Day連貫節慶和習俗。
May Day 曾經在清教徒時代 Oliver Cromwell 再職時被禁止但在郡主政體恢復的同時這節慶也恢復了，然而這節慶恢復後帶給人們的意義已視為給小朋友歡樂的一天而不在是一個古老的慶典了。
中世紀時每個英國的鎮上都會有一座花柱，起初這個象徵為繁殖力。花柱是由各鎮上的人民將森林裡的樹坎下競爭繁殖最高的花柱。那時的花住都有高過100英呎，通常會成為鎮上固定的裝飾，不像今日，肅立起來矮了很多，差不多25英尺高且只有在這天才會看的到。少男少女常在這一天握著以綁在花柱上的藤條繞著跳舞。在1644年時清教徒以此節日為異教徒的節日為由，把這項節慶移除掉但在1660年查爾斯第二又恢復了這節慶，雖然那時性別歧視已消失。果然再十九世紀維多利亞時期 May Day 與花柱慶祝恢復了歡笑與純潔的少男與少女，穿著白色服裝手裡握著有七彩的緞帶綁在藤條上圍繞著跳舞。
其它跟 May Day 有關的習俗是年青少女會上這天早上使用早晨的露水洗臉，具說會讓少女們會更加的漂亮。也有些病患會蓋著毯子泡在露水裡，那時也認為有治癒的功效。
Although Mayday is more recently and better known around the world as Labour Day, it does have a long and notable history as one of the world's principal festivals. The origin of May Day as a day for celebration dates back thousands of years before the birth of Christ. And like many ancient festivals it too has a Pagan connection.
For the Druids of ancient Britain, May 1st was the second most important holiday of the year when the festival of Beltane held. It was thought that this day divides the year in half. The other half was ended with the festival of Samhain on November 1st. In those days the May Day custom was to light huge bonfires, the fire itself was thought to lend life to the burgeoning springtime sun. Cattle were driven through the fire to purify them. Men, with their sweethearts, passed through the smoke for good luck.
The beginning of May was also a big festival for the Romans. It was devoted to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers. It was in her honor that a five day celebration, called the Floralia, was held. The festival would start from April 28th and end on May 2nd. When the Romans conquered Britain, they introduced the rituals of the Floralia festival. Gradually the rituals of the Floralia were added to those of the Beltane and many of today's Mayday customs bear a stark similarity to those combined traditions.
Mayday was discouraged by the Puritans when Oliver Cromwell came to power but was revived when the monarchy was restored, though by then it came to be regarded more as a day of joy and merriment for children, rather than a day of observing ancient fertility rites.
By the Middle Ages every English village had its Maypole, originally a symbol of fertility. The Maypoles, trees cut down and brought in from the forest, were of all sizes and villages would vie with another to show who could produce the tallest. Maypoles in those days were sometimes over 100 feet tall and often a permanent fixture in the village whereas today they are much shorter, around 25 feet and are only erected for May Day. Young men and women would dance round the pole each holding vines which would become entwined. The Maypole tradition was outlawed by the Puritan Parliament in 1644 because of its pagan origins but returned under Charles II in 1660, though by then the sexual elements had disappeared. Indeed by the 19th century, the Victorians had turned the Maypole and May Day into a celebration of merriment and innocence with young girls dressed in white with posies in their hair dancing round the pole and the tree vines gave way to colorful ribbons.
Another custom associated with May Day was that of the young women washing their faces in early morning dew as it was thought that it would make them more beautiful. Sick people were covered in blankets soaked in May dew as it was also thought that it had healing powers.
Druids n. 督伊德教憎侶 (改信基督教以前的古代凱爾特民族的宗教教徒，包括神職者．
Beltane 農曆五月一日凱爾特族的節日 (太陽神)
Samhain 凱爾特族的節日 (死神)，萬聖節的由來
Bonfires n. 烽火 (慶祝或信號用)
Burgeon n. 芽，嫩枝 (升起)
Romans a. 羅馬人
Puritans n. 清教徒 (16~17世紀在英國的新教徒之一派) 嚴格的人，嚴肅的人
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) 是一位英國革命清教徒的首領(英國共和政治時代)帶領英國獲勝了內戰進入議院。在1653到 1658年他是英國的護民官卻到最後轉為獨裁者。
monarchy n. 君主政治，君主政體，君主國
Middle Ages a. 中世紀 (第五世紀直到15世紀)
Victorians a. 維多利亞女王時代 (1837-1901)
· 15 年前