May, Maia, and the pig

 

461px-Bartholomeus_Spranger_-_Vulcan_and_Maia_-_WGA21695
Bartholomeus Spranger – Vulcan and Maia – ( 1575 /1580)

 

May 1st , also called May Day, or Labour Day, is a holiday, associated to the start of spring, and the celebration of the International Workers’ Day or Labour Day, which In Italy is called Festa dei Lavoratori and is a nationwide public holiday.
The earliest May Day celebrations appeared with the festivals in honour of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and Maia, also called “Bona Dea”, the goddess of fertility and spring, who represented the forces of growth and the return of the warm rays of the sun.
Every May 1st , Vulcan offered her a pregnant sow as a sacrifice, so that the Earth could produce plentifully: the sow represented the fecundity of the earth and of the goddess Maia.
The month of May was named after Maia and even the Italian name “pig” derives from hers ( in Latin it is called “sus maialis” and in Italian “maiale” )

On their festival, the people of ancient Rome honoured Maia and Flora adorning their statues with garlands and carried them in a procession of singers and dancers to a sacred flowering tree, the forerunner of the modern Maypole.

 

12 thoughts on “May, Maia, and the pig

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s