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Encyclopedia > May Queen

May Queen is a term which has two distinct but related meanings.

Contents


Mythology

The May Queen is also known as The Maiden, the goddess of spring, flower bride, queen of the faeries, and the lady of the flowers. The May Queen is a symbol of the stillness of nature around which everything revolves. She embodies purity, strength and the potential for growth, as the plants grow in May. She is one of many personifications of the energy of the earth. In Roman mythology, Flora was a goddess of flowers and the season of spring. ... ...


She was once also known as Maid Marian in the medieval plays of Robin Hood and of the May Games - she is the young village girl, crowned with blossom, attended by children with garlands and white dresses. Some folklorists have drawn parallels between her and Maia, the Roman Goddess of Springtime, of Growth and Increase whose very name may be the root of "May". Maid Marian is the female companion to the legendary figure Robin Hood. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ... Robin Hood memorial statue in Nottingham. ... Blossom is a term given to the flowers of stone fruit trees (Genus Prunus) and of some other plants with a similar appearance that flower profusely but for a short period of time. ... Garland is a decoration, used for Christmas, or other holidays, seasons, or special events. ... Maia, in Greek mythology, is the eldest of the Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. ...


Festivals

The May Queen is a girl (usually a teenage girl from a specific school year) who is selected to ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolise purity and usually a tiara or crown. Her duty is to begin the May Day celebrations. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech before the dancing begins. Certain age groups dance round a May pole celebrating youth and the spring time. Two Tamil girls in Tiruvannamalai. ... A separate article is about the punk band called The Adolescents. ... United States Marines on parade. ... May Day refers to any of several holidays celebrated on May 1 or in the beginning of May. ... Wedding - Bridesmaid in long gown A gown or evening gown is a womans evening wear, corresponding to mens formal wear for white tie and black tie events. ... Beauty pageant tiara A tiara (from Persian تاره tara borrowed by Latin as tiara) is a form of crown. ... A crown is a symbolic form of headgear worn by a monarch or by a god, for whom the crown is traditionally one of the symbols of power and legitimacy (See Regalia for a broader treatment). ...


According to popular British folklore, the tradition once had a sinister twist, in that the May Queen was put to death once the festivities were over. The veracity of this belief is difficult to establish, but while in truth it might just be an example of anti-pagan propaganda, frequent associations between May Day rituals, the occult and human sacrifice are still to be found in popular culture today. The Wicker Man, a cult horror film starring Christopher Lee, is a prominent example of this. Pagan may refer to: A believer in Paganism or Neopaganism Bagan, a city in Myanmar also known as Pagan Pagan (album), the 6th album by Celtic metal band Cruachan Pagan Island, of the Northern Mariana Islands Pagan Lorn, a metal band from Luxembourg, Europe (1994-1998) Pagans Mind, is... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Human sacrifice was practiced in many ancient cultures. ... The Wicker Man is a cult 1973 British film containing thriller, horror and musical elements, directed by Robin Hardy, written by Anthony Shaffer. ... DVD cover showing horror characters as depicted by Universal Studios. ... Christopher Lee portrays Count Dooku in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE (born May 27, 1922 in Belgravia, London) is a legendary and prolific English actor known for his versatility, his professional longevity, and his distinctive basso delivery. ...


An Elizabethan eye-witness report

In 1557 a diarist called Henry Machyn reports:


"The xxx day of May was a goly May-gam in Fanch-chyrchestrett with drumes and gunes and pykes, and ix wordes dyd ryd; and thay had speches evere man, and the morris dansse and the sauden, and a elevant with the castyll, and the sauden and yonge morens with targattes and darttes, and the lord and the lade of the Maye."


Translation: On the 30th May was a jolly May-game in Fenchurch Street (London) with drums and guns and pikes, The Nine Worthies did ride; and they all had speeches, and the morris dance and sultan and a elephant with a castle (saddle in the shape of a castle) and the sultan and young moors with shields and arrows, and the lord and lady of the May".


Source: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=45519


Keeping it alive today

A recent May Queen of Brentham, Eleanor Teasdale, on her throne
A recent May Queen of Brentham, Eleanor Teasdale, on her throne

Many areas keep this tradition alive today, most notably the Brentham Garden Suburb which hosts it annually. This has the record of the oldest unbroken tradition although the May Queen of All London Festival at Hayes Common in Bromley is a close contender. A May queen is selected from a group of 13 upwards girls by the young dancers. She returns the next year to crown the new May Queen and stays in the procession. Image File history File linksMetadata Throne2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Throne2. ... Brentham Garden Suburb in the London Borough of Ealing is the oldest garden suburb in London, predating the larger and better-known Hampstead Garden Suburb by some years. ...


A May Day celebration held annually in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada has the distinction of being the longest running May Day celebration of its kind in the British Commonwealth. This May Day celebration began in 1870 and is approaching one hundred and forty years of age. Archival film footage of New Westminster's May Day celebrations from 1932-1962 can be seen online at www.gosee.tv/mayday.


See also

May Queen is also: May Day refers to any of several holidays celebrated on May 1 or in the beginning of May. ... May crowning is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual that occurs on or about 1 May every year. ...

  • mentioned in the Led Zeppelin song Stairway to Heaven.
  • the name of a ketch-rigged barge built in 1876 at Franklin, Tasmania. She is the oldest boat of her type afloat in the world and is on the International Register of Significant Ships.
  • a song on singer/songwriter Liz Phair's sophomore album Whip-Smart.

  Results from FactBites:
 
May Queen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (552 words)
The May Queen is also known as The Maiden, the goddess of spring, flower bride, queen of the faeries, and the lady of the flowers.
She embodies purity, strength and the potential for growth, as the plants grow in May. She is one of many personifications of the energy of the earth.
The May Queen is a girl (usually a teenage girl from a specific school year) who is selected to ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations.
May Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3244 words)
The 1 May date is used because in 1884 the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, inspired by labor's 1872 success in Canada, demanded an eight-hour workday in the United States to come in effect as of May 1, 1886.
May Day marks the end of the uncomfortable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations, regardless of the locally prevalent political or religious establishment.
The May Day Bank Holiday was traditionally the only one to affect the state school calendar, although new arrangements in some areas to even out the length of school terms mean that the Good Friday and Easter Monday Bank Holidays, which vary from year to year, may also fall during term time.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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