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A traditional holiday in England for centuries, May Day is a celebration of springtime fertility marked by revelry, dances, parties and community gatherings.
During medieval times, May Day celebrants would go "a-maying" in the countryside gathering greenery, flowers and a tree that was cut down to serve as the "may pole."
Sexual promiscuity associated with "a maying" caused May Day to be banned by the English Parliament in 1644. It reemerged when Charles II took the throne in 1660, but the sexuality of the festival was no longer overt and the holiday was transformed to a celebration of England.
The May Day Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom is observed on the first Monday in May.
Other May Day traditions include making garlands for children and the crowning of the May Queen.
May Day Baskets
Hanging a basket full of spring flowers or other small gifts on a a friend or neighbor's doorstep is a contemporary May Day tradition. The baskets are often made by little children, filled with candy or flowers, and delivered anonymously.
The Gift Basket Design Book
Personalized Christmas Stockings