May Day, the first of May, is celebrated around the world and has a number of meanings. In many countries, it is a celebration of Spring and the coming of Summer as May Day marks the end of the winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere.
May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and falls exactly half a year from November 1, another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European pagan and neopagan festivals. As Europe became Christianized, the pagan holidays either lost their religious character and became popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or they were merged with or replaced by new Christian holidays such as Christmas, Easter and All Saints’ Day.
Also, this day in history:
The first wagon train left Independence, Missouri for California in 1841
“Buffalo Bill” Cody’s first Wild West Show was performed in 1883
The Empire State Building was dedicated in 1931
The cereal “Cheerios” hit store shelves in 1941
Mr. Potato Head was introduced in 1952