Posted in festivals, mythoughts

1st May

1st May…

Happy May Day!

Happy Workers Day!

Happy Maharashtra Day!

Many of you might have felt that why begin with wishes for May Day first and Maharashtra Day the last! Cause that answer lies in its history.

My kid, a few years back, on 1st May morning asked me, “Pappa what is the importance of this day? Why is it celebrated as international workers day and Maharashtra day?”

An unexpected question from a 7 year old made me think. I did explain to him about the socialist revolution and their fight for the cause of workers. A lot of workers blood was shed while fighting for their rights. How 1 May was chosen to be International Workers’ Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. In that year beginning on 1 May, there was a general strike for the eight hour work day. On 4 May, the police acted to disperse a public assembly in support of the strike when an unidentified person threw a bomb. The police responded by firing on the workers. The event lead to the death of eight and injury of sixty police officers as well as an unknown number of civilian killed or wounded. Hundreds of labour leaders and sympathizers were later rounded-up and four were executed by hanging, after a trial that was seen as a miscarriage of justice.

And also how India after independence was divided into linguistic states. How Maharashtra and Gujarat were born! How there was bloodshed for the same! Some politicians just for their own selfish motives dividing India on basis of language. India after being divided on basis of caste, class, kingdoms (small and large), religion; now was Her turn to be divided on basis of language. And as I write today, do not know how many times more will She be divided and on what basis and in which context…

While explaining all this I was lead to think that, is this the only reason to celebrate / commemorate 1st May? Or is there some other reason too? Can our human history be so narrow-minded? So took to the internet to find my answers. And I was proved right. History is always broad minded, not like humans who write it.

Sharing a few excerpts of what I found on the internet…

“The earliest May Day celebrations appeared with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with theWalpurgis Nightcelebrations of theGermanic countries.

The day was a traditional summer holiday in many Europeanpagan cultures.

While February 1 was the first day ofspring, May 1 was the first day ofsummer; hence, thesummer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) wasMidsummer.

As Europe becameChristianised, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and May Day changed into a popular secular celebration.

A significant celebration of May Day occurs in Germany where it is one of several days on whichSt. Walburga, credited with bringing Christianity to Germany, is celebrated.

The secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and North America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around themaypoleand crowning the Queen of May.

Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours’ doorsteps”.

(Source – Wikipedia).

I hope my justification for wishing May Day first and Maharashtra Day last will be understood by you all now.

Humans have been naturalists from the very beginning. The last few hundred years have made them more aggressive towards nature and environment. On this very day, let us all pledge to take care of our environment and love the nature.

Let’s save Mother Earth not out of necessity.

She is our mother and takes care of Her Children without any expectations.

Let us coexist and thrive to achieve what the Creator has made us for.

Author:

Am a teacher by profession. A student of History and international politics. Believe that Bhakti (Devotion) and Humanism can only save Humanity. Revere all creation. My thoughts are influenced by His Holiness Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale

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