Happy May Day!

Today is the first of May, also known as May Day.

May Day can be marked in many ways, depending on where you live: with a maypole, a bonfire, or the exchanging of gifts.

Dance Around the Maypole. Pieter Brueghel the Younger. Flemish. 1625-1630

Dance Around the Maypole. Pieter Brueghel the Younger. Flemish. 1625-1630

Have you ever wondered why the distress call (for ships at sea, for planes in trouble) is “Mayday“? I have, and I was inspired today to finally look it up. Turns out it is derived from the French expression venez m’aider, which means “come help me!”, and has nothing to do with this delightful holiday.

How many works on view at the UMFA remind you of spring? Come on in and count them!

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