April 30 – May 1 — Beltaine Festival, also called Walpurgis Night. This is the highest day on the Druidic Witch’s Calendar. This fire festival is celebrated on May 1 with bonfires, Maypoles, dancing, and lots of good old fashioned sexual energy.
May 1 was the first day of summer.
Rituals were held at that time to protect them from harm, both natural and supernatural, and this mainly involved the “symbolic use of fire“. The sí (often described as ‘the spirits’ or ‘the fairies’) were thought to be especially active at Beltane (as at Samhain) and the goal of many Beltane rituals was to appease the sí. Beltaine was a “spring time festival of optimism” during which “fertility ritual again was important, perhaps connecting with the waxing power of “the sun“.
Great bonfires are lit on the Eve of Beltaine, April 30, in order to welcome the Earth Goddess. Participants hope to gain favor with this goddess so she will bless their families with procreative fertility. We find it interesting that the Royal House of Windsor lights a Beltaine “Balefire” every year [“America’s Occult Holidays”, Doc Marquis, p. 30]
Since the early 20th century it has been commonly accepted that Old Irish Beltaine is derived from a Common Celtic *belo-te(p)niâ, meaning “bright fire“. The element *belo- might be cognate with the English word bale (as in ‘bale-fire’) meaning ‘white’ or ‘shining’; compare Old English bael, and Lithuanian/Latvian baltas/balts, found in the name of the Baltic; in Slavic languages byelo or beloye also means ‘white’, as in Беларусь (White Russia or Belarus) or Бе́лое мо́ре (White Sea). A more recent etymology by Xavier Delamarre would derive it from a Common Celtic *Beltinijā, cognate with the name of the Lithuanian goddess of death Giltinė, the root of both being Proto-Indo-European *gʷelH- (“suffering, death”).
May 1 is International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, is a celebration of the international labour movement. May Day has long been a focal point for demonstrations by various socialist, communist and anarchist groups commemorating the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago.
In Germany, May Day (erster Mai, May 1st) is a national holiday and an important day, partly because of Blutmai (“bloody May”) in 1929
In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary’s month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler killed himself.
May 1st, 1946, was the start of 3 year Pilbara strike of Indigenous Australians.
May 1st, 1950, was when Guam was organized as a United States commonwealth.
May 1st, 1956, is when the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.
May 1st, 1961, the Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, proclaims Cuba a socialist nation and abolishes elections.
May 1st, 1989, Disney-MGM Studios opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.
May 1st , 2011, Barack Obama announces that Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks is killed by United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Due to the time difference between the United States and Pakistan, bin Laden was actually killed on May 2.