Reblogged from A Voice in the Corner.
Today is May Day, also known as Beltane, Bale and a host of other names. It is the day that in some pagan traditions young women take a spanking (or a switching) in the name of the goddess as a fertility rite.
The early (Christian) Church tried to miss-associate this tradition with variously Satan or a demoness, but the old ways die hard and by the early modern period most local clergy turned a blind eye to such celebrations.
You can get taste of such goings on in the 1970 movie The Wicker Man, which apart from the ending is not a million miles from how some British villages still celebrate these things.
Later May Day was co-opted by the socialists because of its revolutionary origins and in some countries it is still known as Labour Day.
In the UK the public holiday is not until Monday, but wherever…
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