I just read James Emmerling's May post which revolved around a discussion of Marx and Hegel.
Having read neither, I couldn't contribute to that discussion, so I related how we celebrated May Day back at St. Aloysius High School in Jersey City, circa 1960.
I guess you wouldn't call it a celebration; it was more of observation, and centered on the crowning with flowers of a statue of the Blessed Virgin.
A girl was chosen from the student body to actually do the deed. She wore a white dress and a tiara of white flowers. The nuns did the choosing, as I recall, and obviously steered clear of any of the fast girls who rolled their uniform skirts up at the waist to expose more leg.
One year, I think I was a sophomore, a young lady whom I had a mad crush on was chosen. Not that I ever spoke her, since I was so shy that it was all I could do to talk to myself. However, I can still picture her with her white dress and tiara, jet black hair, pink skin and rosy lips, the very image of a Rennaisance saint.
The entire student body was then marched over to the park across the street where we hauled a life-size statue of the Virgin. The crowning, accompanied by praying and singing, was then accomplished.
Here, in part is the song we sang:
I found the lyrics by Googling the chorus which I actually remembered after all these years.
I am not religious and no longer a practicing Catholic, but this stands out in my mind as one of the lovelier ceremonies to which we were subjected. I am sure it is rife with pagan overtones and probably in some darker time it would have ended with the young lady being sacrificed. But, for all its faults, the Church never condoned human sacrifice.
Of course, even then I welcomed it more as an opportunity to escape the classroom than for its religious significance, and, for one brief and shining moment, a chance to gaze without embarassment upon my beloved.