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Walburga, credited with bringing Christianity to Germany, is celebrated.

The secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and North America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May.

May 1 is also one of two feast days of the Catholic patron saint of workers St Joseph the Worker, a carpenter, husband to Mother Mary, and surrogate father of Jesus.

May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries, most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, and people) and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings.

Unlike the other Bank Holidays and common law holidays, the first Monday in May is taken off from (state) schools by itself, and not as part of a half term or end of term holiday.

This is because it has no Christian significance and does not otherwise fit into the usual school holiday pattern.

Since it was reinstated 21 years ago it has grown in size, and on May 5, 2014 thousands of revellers were attracted from all over the south west to enjoy the festivities, with BBC Somerset covering the celebrations.

These include traditional maypole dancing and morris dancing, as well as contemporary music acts..

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Also known as Ashtoria Day in northern parts of rural Cumbria. Although not very well known, it is often cause for huge celebration.

The day was a traditional summer holiday in many European pagan cultures.

While February 1 was the first day of spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer.

As Europe became Christianised, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and May Day changed into a popular secular celebration.

A significant celebration of May Day occurs in Germany where it is one of several days on which St. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the festivities.

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