What do you think when you hear the words, "May~Day"?
I think of a plane going down, sending out a distress signal and I picture Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron.
I also have a faint memory of dancing around the May-pole, braiding a rainbow of ribbons around a giant flagpole at a Nursing Home. And afterwards, passing out little hand-made gifts to the residents- never once thinking that I'd grow older. After all, in that moment, my childhood seemed to drag on forever.
I didn't really know "why" today is called May Day or why that phrase is used as a distress signal. So, I decided to do some research...
May Day -the holiday- has several points of historical significance. Most notably, as I have found via my limited scope and google searches, it is a celebration of Spring and all the lovely things that go along with the season. Love, flowers, new birth, and HOPE.
It is a day for honoring martyrs, a Celtic Festival Day based on Irish mythology, and in Germany it holds reference to Bloody Mary.
I also found it interesting that February 1 was honored as the first day of Spring and May 1 as the first day of Summer. And was thus, a day of Summer celebration in pagan European culture.
The scope ranges across Europe from Great Britain to Germany, Ireland, Finland, France, Sweden and beyond. But let's skip to the good ole U.S. of A.
Early American settlers brought the tradition over with them and started the first version of "ding-dong, ditch" that I've ever seen on record. A giver leaves a small gift basket on a receiver's doorstep, knocks, and runs away. The receiver then tries to catch the giver, and if the receiver is successful, the giver receives a kiss. Knowing this, I'm sure the givers slow their gate a little. ;)
My next quest led me to figure out why in the world "May-Day" is a distress signal.
May-Day comes from the French word, "m'aider" meaning, "Come Help Me!"
Aviators aren't the only ones to use the distress signal, Mariners do as well. Word to wise- it is a federal crime to make a FALSE May-Day call in the United States. And it is a costly mistake, up to a quarter million dollars and half a dozen years behind bars- yikes!
But not to worry, if you say "Matey" with a thick accent and you fear it being confused with "May-Day" - chances are you'll be safe. Just like "Beetlejuice" - you must call out "May-Day!" three times in a row to be considered a distress call.
May 1, 2013 ~ I am looking at today as a day of HOPE and standing in the gap, pleading for a miracle to be granted to someone that God sees in the clutches of distress.
Smile :) donnamusing