1 May 2010


A BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND - today, the 1st of May, is traditionally known as May Day.

An ANCIENT FESTIVAL, May Day, like many other festivals, is traditionally a day of pagan celebration and fertility rites that dates back way before Christianity. Important to the Druids who saw it as the day which divided the year in two, it was also celebrated by the Romans (who then occupied the British Isles) in honour of the flower goddess, FLORA.

Sad to say but most of these ancient customs and traditions - MAYPOLE DANCING included - are slowly dying out and May Day (certainly here in the North East of England) is a some what 'none-event' unless you live in one of the mainly rural villages that still celebrate the 'old ways'.

Certainly not an old tradition, and I'm not too sure it has it's roots in fertility rites (probably not), tomorrow, Sunday, is World Laughter Day.

Strange, when just this week I was reading this article that states:-

Laughter can unleash the same changes in the body's chemistry as a quick bout of physical exercise. People who watch funny movies experienced the same hormonal changes that follow exercise, which are thought to boost appetite. The findings could lead to the development of better ways to encourage healthy eating among patients who have gone off their food because of depression or other conditions. (Always laughing and finding it difficult to loose weight, now I know why.)

The study builds on previous work which suggested that prolonged laughter can lower blood pressure and boost immune activity. "It may indeed be true that laughter is a good medicine" said Lee Berk, who led the research.

- Ian Sample reporting in the Guardian, click HERE for the full article.

Anyway, I digress,
Set up in 1998 by Madan Kataria, founder of the Yoga Laughter Movement*, WORLD LAUGHTER DAY is "a positive manifestation for world peace, intended to build up a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter. Its popularity has grown exponentially with that of the Laughter Yoga movement (now counting over 6000 Laughter Clubs worldwide on all 5 continents)"

* I don't know about me laughing, I merely found their Laughter Yoga Meditation video (click HERE to view) irritating in the extreme - what did you think of it?


Kalei said...

I am from hawaii and the song we sing on this day is:

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii
Lyrics & Music: Leonard Hawk

May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii
Garlands of flowers everywhere
All of the colors in the rainbow
Maidens with blossoms in their hair

Flowers that mean we should be happy
Throwing aside a load of care
Oh, May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii
May Day is happy days out there

Happy Lei day!

Stopping over from Marthas Blog at sense of Humor

Nina said...

Happy May Day! Yesterday the Dutch people celebrated 'Queensday'. We celebrate the birthday of the queen. Everywhere the shops are closed and people are selling stuff on the streets. It's really fun. To give you an idea, check this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koninginnedag

chitra said...

Here May is only a holiday, many do not even know the significance of the same.
Happy Laughter day to all . Let's laugh a lot and destress

Martha said...

I, too, find laughter yoga annoying. I do enjoy a genuine belly laugh, chuckle, smile, or grin at all times and always look for the funny.
Happy May Day, Witty Putterer
(Please, do my multitude of nicknames for your blog name annoy you, dear T??)

Kelly said...

Happy May Day!! I haven't thought about 'may poles' in years. Seems like we use to do that with crepe paper back in elementary school.

As for laughter.... I've always thought of it as a very healing thing (for all sorts of ills). Also, think what a workout your abs get when you engage in some serious belly laughing. Maybe that will offset the extra eating it might cause!!

TheLittleFlower said...

Happy May Day! Let's LOL as much as we can. :))))))))

Pam said...

I think laughter yoga is annoying too. We don't have a May Day here, but today is Down Home Days where they close off downtown and sell overpriced food.

Thanks for letting me know about the use for scars. My son has a scar between his eyes where his sister accidentally hit him with a golf club when he was two. Can't hurt to try to see if we can get it to fade.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Happy May Day and Happy Laughter Day.
So sad that these traditions are dying out..
Thanks so much for your wonderful comments!
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Big hugs!
Betty xx

Alexia561 said...

Happy May Day!

Hadn't heard about World Laughter Day before, so will try to watch a funny movie to celebrate. :D

MOLLYC said...

I just tweeted about your blog. It is scheduled to post tomorrow. I hope you get some new traffic as a result.
Charlie did a bit on May Day in his bloggy email thing also. Hope you are having wonderful weather! xo

Lizzy said...

Yes, annoying to the point I clicked out of it after only about 15 seconds!

I do prefer a genuine good laugh at something actually funny, like a good joke, or a silly mishap in which no one gets hurt.

As far as May Day, I do recall crepe paper streamer "dances" in grade school...how many of the teachers knew they were 'contributing to the delinquency of minors' by offering fertility rites? ROFLMAO!!

May Day is, as you say, a non-event anymore, but, it is my youngest grandchild's birthday, so still a celebration in this family.

Cheers...and happy laughing!

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I find it somewhat amazing that there's a holiday for laughter. Just shows how much we love to laugh. :)

Tracie said...

I'm pretty sure that I find something to laugh about every day. Even if I'm laughing at myself. :)

Happy May Day!

Jen said...

If I suggested we dance around a pole people's minds would head in a completely different direction.