May Day



  • noun the change in practices on American Stock Exchanges which took place on 1st May 1975, with the removal of the system of fixed commissions. This allowed cheaper stock trading by brokers who did not offer any investment advice, and ultimately led to computerised financial dealing in general.


  • Spring time celebrations and fertility rituals have taken placethroughout history and in many different cultures. The Romans usedto leave their towns and cities for the open fields and spend thefirst of May dancing and singing in honour of Flora, goddess of fruitsand flowers. The English have celebrated May Day for centuries withgames and sports, particularly archery and morris dancesand the setting up of the maypole. In the 16th century May Day wasknown as Robin Hood's Day and Robin Hood Plays became anintegral part of the festivities: performers dressed as Robin Hoodand Maid Marian often presided as Lord and Lady of the May.

    May Day was also formerly the day of the London chimney sweeps'festival, which involved dancing, processions, and the exhibitionof a Jack-in-the-Green.