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May festival
May festival
May festival
Lebedyev, Klawdi Vassilievitch 1852–1916.

“May festival”, 1902.

Oil on canvas, 41.1 × 38 cm.
Stavropol, Museum of Art.
Witches riding out on their procession on the 1st of May
Peasants dancing around a Maypole
"Brüder zur Sonne, zur Freiheit"
Happy May Day!
The holiday originated in its Pagan form to celebrate the beginning of summer and can be traced back to the Germanic Walpurgis Night or the Gaelic Beltrane festivals. With the advent of Christianity, the 1st of May became known as the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of labourers. Nowadays, May Day coincides with International Workers' Day, first launched in honour of those hurt in the Haymarket riot of 1886.

Here we take a look at images from our archive showing merry maypole dancing, the traditional crowning of the village May Queen, political May Day parades and some very impressive displays of synchronised marching.
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