May Day is one of the few festivals that still exists in its own right and has not been swamped
by a Christian festival placed on the same date in an effort to hide its origin. May day in
most peoples eyes in the UK is the "new" bank holiday that was given during the years of
Harold Wilson's term as the Prime Minster of Parliament in 1975 was the
first May Day holiday in the UK.
May day it appears was one of the most important days of the festival of the yester year now
we are lucky if we see any of the old customs and traditions that go along with May Day.
May was called "Maia" in honour of the goddess of growth by the Romans and by the
Saxons "Thrimilci" which means simply the month in which cows can be milked 3 times a
day. The Saxon s association with May and milk that the 'Milk Maids Dance' may have its
Origins.The 'milk maids' would rise early in the morning on the first day of May and after
carrying out some ritual ablutions would then dance in the streets of their village/town with
as many milk containers as they could carry. The Celts called the first day of May BELTANE
which was called this as the Celts lit bonfires on the first day of May the meaning of which
means BEL = bright or goodly TAN = fire it would appear that St Anne's Well Rd at the top
was such a place where this took place, there is a well on St Anne's Well Rd hence the name
but the true meaning of St Anne's Well is San meaning holy Tan meaning fire the words
have been corrupted with time.
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