may day 2006, new orleans
and from the writer's almanac:
Today is May Day, a celebration of the return of spring that goes back thousands of years in European traditions. Various May Day celebrations included the gathering of wildflowers and green branches, the weaving of floral garlands, and the setting up of a decorated May tree, or Maypole, around which people danced.
May Day never developed a Christian equivalent. In order to celebrate the holiday, workers had to stay home from work against their employers' wishes. It became known as a people's holiday, and in 1889, a congress of world Socialist parties held in Paris voted to choose May 1, 1890, as a day of demonstrations in favor of the eight-hour day.