A Christian Holiday?
“Pope Backs May Day as Christian Holiday” was the title of an article in the New York Times of May 3, 1953. The article said: “In a May Day speech he delivered to 4,000 workers gathered in the Vatican from many parts of Italy, the Pope endorsed the celebration of the day as a Christian holiday for labor.” The Times then quotes the pope as asking concerning May Day: “Who better than the true Christian can give to it a profound significance?” Do true Christians celebrate May Day as a Christian holiday? You are invited to be the judge.
May Day’s origin? The New Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia says on page 8294: “May Day festivals probably stem from the rites practiced in honor of a Roman goddess, Maia, who was worshiped as the source of human and natural fertility.” A conspicuous feature of this celebration has been (and still is, especially among school children) the dancing around the Maypole. The same encyclopedia states: “This Maypole is believed by most scholars to be a survival of a phallic symbol formerly used in the spring rites for the goddess Maia.”
Did early Christians celebrate pagan festivals as Christian holidays? No! “To keep themselves free from idolatry they refused to associate with others in social and public festivities.” (A History of Rome, by George Willis Botsford, page 263) Another authority speaks of “the absolute refusal of the Christians to join in any religious festival.”—Christianity and the Roman Government, by E. G. Hardy, page 36.
In view of the above-mentioned facts, Do true Christians give May Day “a profound significance” by celebrating it as a Christian holiday? You be the judge.