The New Student's Reference Work/May

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May, the fifth month of the year. The first of May has always been a gala day. The May festival goes back to the Floralia festival of the Romans, which probably came in the first place from India. In England, as we learn from Chaucer and Shakespeare, it was customary during the middle ages for all, both high and low — even the court itself — to go out on the first May morning at an early hour “to fetch the flowers fresh.” The fairest maid of the village was crowned with flowers as Queen of the May. Every town and village, too, had its fixed pole — called the Maypole — on which each May-morning were hung wreaths of flowers, and round which the people danced in rings most of the day. Roman Catholics celebrate the month as the Virgin’s month.