The word “mayday”, famously used in distress calls from ships at sea, is actually a mangling of the French word “m’aidez”, or “help me”.
Also May Day is, since about 1880 or-so, International Workers’ Day – so kiss a comrade today.
And it’s the anniversary of the Haymarket Massacre when police in Chicago killed 4 marchers in a peaceful protest. And that is, I’m pretty sure, the reason for it being International Workers’ Day.
But “May Day”, or something similar at this time of year, has been celebrated in religious traditions for probably thousands of years, originally simply to mark the end of winter. In the colonies that became the U.S. “freethinkers” celebrated May Day with maypole dances along with Native Americans (in the early years before real estate values went up).
And May Day is a reminder that it is only three days until May The Fourth Be With You day.
And only four days until Cinco de Mayo, celebrating Mexican Independence.
All of which makes me think the 1st through the 5th of May should be a national holiday – or whichever five weekdays fall closest. We don’t want to get cheated with weekends being included.