Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Happy May Day!

… aka Beltane, or Walpurgisnacht, the festival to mark the start of the bright half of the year. To our agricultural ancestors, it meant the beginning of six months of hard work to ensure that the year-end festival at the beginning of November would celebrate prosperity, or at least the chance of making it through the dark winter. And if that sounds somehow political, well, we humans are a political species…

35 replies
  1. 1
    Xenos says:

    kalo protomagia!

    May day in Greece is a holiday of flowers – you make wreaths of dandelions and other wildflowers, and fly kites. It is to celebrate the return of Persophone to her mother Demeter, and the six months of warmth to keep the world alive for another year.

  2. 2
    THE says:

    AL, you going to have a real Walpurgisnacht, or you gonna mess around?
    Night on Bald Mountain.

  3. 3
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    It’s just a sprinkling for the May Queen.

  4. 4
    Middlewest says:

    The First of May celebrated in song.

  5. 5
    WJS says:

    May Day in Germany means get drunk–you have a day off!

    Despite the fact that we had rain, thunder and lightning last night, pretty much all of our neighbors got drunk and celebrated May Day. And the German kids did their American counterparts proud by TP’ing the town. One thing they don’t get in America is how useful it is to have a wagon for all the beer.

    Here in Germany, you’re nobody if you can’t pull a wagon full of beer around behind you when you’re celebrating (insert random holiday on which to get drunk).

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    How long before some troll comes here and says:

    It is ‘International Workers Day!’
    Time for you Libtards to drink the blood of little Christian children!”

    Back to reality:
    Happy May Day, everyone!

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Valdivia says:

    I miss the worker celebrations of my Latin youth. Here in DC it’s rain and a regular work day.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    Growing up Catholic meant making paper flowers for Mary. I used to love those flowers made out of tissues. Today’s celebration might involve cutting a few calla lillies and putting them in a vase to brighten my home.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    @c u n d gulag: Will they wear flowers in their hair?

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:

    Question: Orson Scott Card, Orson Bean, is there anyone named Orson who isn’t right wing freak?


  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    Happy Labor Day, World (outside the US)!


  13. 13
    moonbat says:

    I don’t know if this is an Okie only manifestation of May Day but we used to make paper cones with handles, fill them with flowers, leave them at someone’s door that we liked, ring the bell and run away. Being Okies, we usually swiped the flowers from someone else’s garden if I remember correctly

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I did exactly that in suburban Chicago, back in the 1940s.

  15. 15
    c u n d gulag says:

    Well, there’s Orson Welles – but he’s dead.

    And he drank no wine, before it was time.
    IT’S TIME!

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    @c u n d gulag: Thank you. I knew there had to be at least one Orson who wasn’t crazy a wingnut.


  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JGabriel: Welles.

    ETA: Damn you Gulag. Damn you to hell.

  18. 18
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    No thanks.
    I ain’t a movin’ back down South fer nothin’!

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @c u n d gulag: Fair enough.

  20. 20
    Maude says:

    The garden club puts a May basket on the local library door handle. It’s sweet.

  21. 21

    Haymarket Square, Chicago, 1886

    Nasty business.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    JGabriel says:

    Linda Featheringill:

    Haymarket Square, Chicago, 1886.
    Nasty business.

    Yep. Link for those unfamiliar with the Haymarket Affair.

    I think of it as America’s Tiananmen Square, because, in the same way the Chinese don’t remember Tiananmen, the world is taught about Haymarket Square while Americans have, well, suppressed it.


  24. 24
    amk says:

    Obama’s swiss bank a/c jab at mittbot.

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @amk: I would say that the campaign season has started. [Insert deity of choice or not] help us all.

  26. 26
    amk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: price of democracy and only CU can afford it.

  27. 27
    Schlemizel says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    I’m up for that! Been a while since the last Christian child blood drinking. The renewed vigor would do us all some good.

  28. 28
    Amir Khalid says:

    I have already seen The Avengers. You should too. Transformers-class big and loud, but genius smart rather than Transformers-class obnoxious and stupid.

  29. 29
    Neddie Jingo says:

    Can’t believe this hasn’t been mentioned yet….

    Hooray! Hooray!
    The First of May!
    Outdoor fucking begins today!

    What with the Beltane/Walpurgisnacht connection, it seems only appropriate to mention this — and encourage it….

    Grab a blanket, a bottle of plonk, and your preferred squeeze, head on out to a discreet woodgrove or pasture, and celebrate the Dignity of Labor!

    (Perhaps it goes without saying, but bring some rubber thingies, or you might wind up in a completely different sort of Labor…)

  30. 30
    Hujo says:

    Happy May Day!

    Osama is still dead, and Jessica Simpson is still pregnant. And Mitt Romney is still a jerk (but a white one, which will earn him some votes).

  31. 31
    Hungry Joe says:

    I’m going to out myself here: Today Simon & Schuster is publishing “Anyway*”, a middle-grade novel — my first book. On Scalzi’s “Whatever” site he has a feature called The Big Idea, in which an author writes a short essay about his new book. Well, Scalzi, an old friend from wayback, spotlights my book in today’s Big Idea.

    (The book’s subtitle: *A Story About Me with 138 Footnotes, 27 Exaggerations, and 1 Plate of Spaghetti.)

  32. 32
    Dee Loralei says:

    @Hungry Joe: Congrats on the novel! It sounds charming. Best of luck with it.

  33. 33
    Mark says:

    Bread & Roses – Lawrence, MA 1912, The Singing String



    check it out…

  34. 34
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Dee Loralei: Thanks. Fingers crossed.

  35. 35
    Hujo says:


    Osama is still dead, and Jessica Simpson is still pregnant. And Mitt Romney is still a jerk (but a white one, which will earn him some votes).

    Jessica Simpson is no longer pregnant–life goes on

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