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From the Archives | The Many Meanings of May Day

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The Haymarket Riot: 1886 Chicago Labor Incident

May Day means many things to many people, from pagans to factory workers to troubled boaters. David Clark is here to explain it all.

David Clark, Mental Floss

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Wherever the winters are cold, wet, or overcast, the prime weeks of spring inspire elation and revelry. Finally, we can stop being irritable, morose winter brutes and commence our exuberant sun worship.
 

So around the end of April and beginning of May, the Romans honored their flower and fertility goddess Flora with dances, processions, games, and sundry merriment. Lots of this merriment involved prostitutes, rarely clothed. Of course everyone thinks the "Floralia" festival had roots in older earth and goddess worshipping cultures; defenders of Roman Virtue have blamed the Floralia's rampant licentiousness -- including nude mimes! -- on those randy and uncivil primitives. Arguably, the Romans had lewd habits all their own, even before Caligula -- but we won't get into that.

David Clark is an historian.

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Cinco de MayoEditors, History.com

https://images.vexels.com/media/users/3/150327/raw/a2ffd9ef3bc60b4d157eb49db47f2449-cinco-de-mayo-illustrated-poster.jpgIn the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations.
Related: From the Archives | The Many Meanings of May Day

 

 

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