by Chrysa Smith

Today is May 1st. And this day comes with some interesting trivia.

Most commonly known, it marks the celebration of international workers rights—-seemingly in socialist and communist countries, and today, probably in Arizona and along the Mexican border.

From the pagan, it marks the beginning of summer.

From the Roman Empire, the goddess of flowers was honored on this day. Goddess worship should definitely make a come-back. At least, that’s what I keep telling my husband.

In Europe, festive celebrations ‘spring’ up, with people dancing (and probably drinking) around the decorated Maypole (perhaps a left-over from the Roman flower goddess days).

In Roman Catholic circles, May is the month celebrating Mary, the mother of Jesus. (I won my first writing contest back in parochial school and with it, the honor of crowning the concrete statue of Mary during the school’s annual May Procession). Everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame somewhere.

A nice but forgotten tradition was to leave May baskets, containing edible goodies on neighbor’s doorsteps. Wouldn’t that be nice, instead of advertisements, a soggy newspaper and plastic baggies full of mulch?

In the US, May Day is officially recognized as Law Day. Have you ever even heard of this one? It was apparently created by the American Bar Association in the 50’s. Go figure.

But what will get the most attention, media coverage and southern exposure on this May Day is The Kentucky Derby. It too has a history that spans more than a century, and comes with a few traditions of its own—-like the singing of ‘My Old Kentucky Home’, the beautiful ‘Garland of Roses’ that graces the winning horse’s back and of course, the classic Mint Julep Drink.
So, I say, whatever you’re celebrating today—May Day, Kentucky Derby Day or the beginning of summer—may it be happy—-cheers!!!!
Want to create the perfect mint julep? A little Kentucky whiskey, sugar, water, mint is maybe all you need. Recipes below. Just click, pour, mix and enjoy.