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May Day

May 1, 2020

May Day – The last bastion of Communism and disgruntled socialists. When we lived in Italy, this laughable day reigned king among holidays. I think it may have even been a bigger deal than Christmas to many local, want-to-be socialists.

One year my wife and I inadvertently returned from Egypt on May 1 and had to take a train in Germany, from Nuremberg tp Munich. What theater! Police stormed through the cars video taping everyone on board “just in case” they were to cause trouble at the next stop. As an American, I was a bit shaken as we don’t have SWAT teams running though our trains just because Communists are on board. Then I noticed that the fellow I was sitting next to had a swastika on his jacket.  I politely asked (in my best German) if he was indeed a Nazi. His response: “Hell no! We hate those bastards! Didn’t you see the red strikeout over the swastika?” No actually I hadn’t noticed but I was relieved.

I remember that decades ago when I was in grammar school, we used to have a May Day parade. As I recall, it was more about celebrating good community works and local businesses with a May Pole and a dance as the center attractions than celebrating Karl Marx or any political ideology. That was 60 years ago and things have changed. I tend to like the old May Day much better. What are your May Day experiences?

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13 Comments
  1. I remember the may pole from my childhood

    Liked by 1 person

  2. May baskets, although they’ve been discouraged this year. Instead the neighbor girls chalked a large colorful greeting on our driveway this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I only remember spending one May Day in Europe and that was in London. I had flown in before for a business meeting. It was a time when people wore suits and ties for business meetings so that was what I had to wear. I woke up the day of the meeting (May1) and turned on the telly. A BBC newscaster talked concernedly about the demonstrations and disruptions that were planned. Her advice if you were out and about: “Don’t wear a suit.” I chose not to go to my meeting in my underwear, so I braved the outside world in a suit and all as fine.

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  4. Hi Allen. May Day was a big deal in my Italian neighborhood when I was a kid. America, of course established “Labor Day” in September specifically to avoid any association with May Day. In elementary school May Day was celebrated as the Spring Festival for us kids but the adults knew it was May Day. There is a picture of me. my two brothers, a neighbor’s son and my mom at the ‘Spring Festival” in the early ’50s. Mom new it was May Day! Daddy was a union man!

    https://toritto.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/toritto-a-life-in-pictures-3/

    Like

  5. Not a holiday that I’ve ever been involved with to my recollection.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No tradition of May Day, but crowning a statue of Mary with flowers was a big highlight of May. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I just remember that May Day was an innocuous holiday celebrated in grammar school. Didn’t become aware of its political significance until college. Like you, I prefer the old version. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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