*smirks slightly* it's funny what time
does to tradition
. today may day
celebrations are happy and cheerful
and all just "look! it's spring
!" when there is a celebration
, mothers love to watch
their children dance around a maypole
, twirling ribbons (and sometimes getting tangled in them). they encourage their children
to make may basket
s and leave them on neighbor's doorsteps. all nice and happy
. a happy family
how time changes things. may day is the degeneration of Beltane, really, and the may pole is a DIRECT part of a standard beltane ritual. a pagan holiday celebrating *fertility* and rebirth and the union of the goddess and the horned god. it's in no way a 'dirty' holiday for us, or something to hide--paganism is fairly open about sex. but it's quite apparently a ... deeper thing than it's usually treated as.
and the may baskets that are left? these were long ago actually posies of certain flowers and mostly herbs that were left as a fertility blessing, not the "good luck"/"good wishes" token they're seen as today.
it's amazing how things become distorted and desensitized over the centuries.
but if most people knew what was behind it, suddenly that happy little pole wouldn't seem *quite* so innocent anymore.
for the record, a traditional maypole is wrapped with white and red ribbon, instead of the multicolored tangle so common now. and it's actually properly WOVEN in an intricate in and out pattern, instead of just twisted around. the maypole dancers form *two* rings, one inside and the other outside, each set with one color of ribbon, and they weave in and out of each other.