It's May Day on Monday and for most people this conjures up the idea of a bank holiday weekend....an extra lie-in and the feeling that warmer weather is on its way. It was originally a pagan festival in which people celebrated springtime fertility, made merry and danced around maypoles with colourful ribbons! In quite a different vein, it is also known as International Workers' Day, in which people fight for change. Rallies are held all over the world with some unfortunately breaking out in violence. Many shops, cafes and restaurants have their windows boarded up, anticipating anti-capitalist attacks. I've also heard about a rather wonderful tradition at St. Andrews University in Scotland in which students go skinny dipping in the north sea at sunrise!
- May Day (noun)
The first day of May.
- to conjure up (phrasal verb)
To make someone think of something.
- a bank holiday (noun)
A public holiday.
- a lie-in(noun)
To stay in bed for longer than usual.
- pagan (adj.)
Associated with ancient beliefs that were not part of the world's main religions.
- fertility (noun)
The ability that humans have to make babies, animals to produce young animals or plants to create new plants.
- to make merry (phrase)
To have fun, usually by dancing and drinking.
- a maypole (noun)
A tall pole that people used to dance around.
- a ribbon (noun)
A strip of coloured fabric
- in a different vein (phrase)
Referring to something quite different
- fight for (verb + prep)
To try very hard to achieve something
- A rally (noun)
A public meeting that people attend to protest about smth
- to break out in (phrasal verb)
When something bad such as war, fighting or disease suddenly starts
- to board up (phrasal verb)
To put wooden boards over something
- skinny dipping (noun)
To swim naked
- sunrise (noun)
When the sun rises in the morning, dawn.