The first day of the May is known as May Day. It is the time to celebrate spring and the coming of summer. It once marked the time when livestock was moved to the hills to graze after a winter in the lowlands.
It is costumary to dance around the maypole, a surviving pagan symbol of virility from the festival of Beltane.
Beltane is the second principal Celtic festival (the other being Samhain). Celebrated approximately halfway between Vernal (spring) equinox and the midsummer (Summer Solstice). Beltane traditionally marked the arrival if summer in ancient times.
If you look at the sky, at Beltane the Pleiades star cluster rises just before sunrise on the morning horizon, whereas winter (Samhain) begins when the Pleiades rises at sunset. The Pleiades is a cluster of seven closely placed stars, the seven sisters, in the constellation of Taurus, near his shoulder. (extra info @ Witch Vox).
Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, winter (Dark Part) and summer (Light Part). As Samhain is about honoring Death, Beltane, its counter part, is about honoring Life. It is the time when the sun is fully released from his bondage of winter and able to rule over summer and life once again.
Traditional English May Day celebrations include the crowning of a May Queen, the human replica of Flora, the Roman goddess of the flowers, and the young blushing bride, and the princess of the fairies. She is Lady Marian in the Robin Hood tales, and Guinevere in the Arthurian cycle.
She is the embodiment of the Maiden, of mother earth in all of her fertile glory.
As the summer rolls on, the May Queen will give forth her bounty, moving into the Mother phase. The earth will blossom and bloom with crops and flowers and trees. Once more the dichotomy of good and evil, good weather versus bad weather, light versus sun that we already mention in our Easter entry.
Houses are decorated with flowers, and the young girls washed their faces in morning dew for a beautiful complexion.
There may be processions and Morris dancing.