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Posted on April 30th, 2010 in May Day

I (was) volunteered to write a post about May Day. I’ve been having a mental block about it. I figure that everyone who reads this blog probably knows all about May Day already. It’s a holiday in just about every country on Earth except for here in the good old USA. Even at AK we don’t close for May Day. That doesn’t seem right. Anyway.

I was hanging out with Jerry the Faerie last night and I mentioned my looming May Day blog-post deadline. Jerry took the opportunity to tell me all about the pagan origins of May Day.

“They would have these huge orgies! Everyone would be fucking in the fields!”

This is Beltane. So the fucking was supposed to “fertilize” the fields for the coming crop and harvest. Also the whole village was doing this, so presumably a lot of the women got “fertilized” as well. These pregnancies were timed perfectly with the harvest. These moms could work through the Fall harvest and have babies in February. They’d be ready to go back to work in the fields again for the next harvest season. Anyway that’s the theory. When the Christians invaded they saw this and proclaimed, “You Can’t Fuck in the Fields! That’s Disgusting!” So the whole thing got turned into some village dance thing. You know, Maypoles.

Anyway. Jerry didn’t think that would be appropriate for a serious anarchist blog like this. He thought I should just put the history of International Worker’s Day out there. I pretty much agree. Of course he would love it for anarchists to take note of this liberating pagan ceremony, though he cautioned specifically against replicating the old rituals in a public place like Dolores Park.

May Day is actually one of my favorite holidays. I wish that it were an acknowledged and celebrated one in the United States. May Day as the celebration of Labour Day or International Worker’s Day is the holiday I’m talking about. While the idea of fucking in the fields appeals to an adolescent me, today I’m more interested in celebrating and commemorating the lives of the workers who were fighting for the eight-hour workday. Those are the folks we can thank for the weekend. I’m talking about the workers involved in the events leading up to and surrounding the Haymarket Tragedy. Those guys are my heroes. I’ve visited their graves twice now on the anniversary of the executions. I guess, that will be another post.