May 1st is one of a series of spring days celebrated in the United States.

On Groundhog Day (February 2, 2017) a burrowing rodent about the size of a housecat is said to determine whether spring has begun or winter will continue.

The spring equinox (March 20, 2017) is the official first day of spring.  Changes in the amount of sunlight and the angle of the sun result in warmer temperatures.  Soon thereafter trees begin to expand their leaves and flowers appear.  On the Sunday after the next full moon Easter (April 16, 2017) is celebrated.  Spring is reflected in the symbols of Easter:  lambs, chicks, baby rabbits, and eggs.

Next comes Earth Day (April 22, 2017), when many people volunteer their time to clean natural areas, rivers, and roadsides.  Arbor Day (April 28, 2017) follows.  It is a day when many people volunteer to plant trees in their communities.

Finally, May Day (May 1, 2017), originated with Floralia (the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers).  It is also considered a celebration of spring and fertility.    May Day is often celebrated by a dance in which children (or adults) weave ribbons around a tall pole (the May Pole).

Earth Day and Arbor Day both originated in the United States.  The other spring holidays have origins in Europe during pre-Christian times.  Groundhog Day occurs halfway between winter solstice (the shortest amount of daylight during the year) and the spring equinox.

Even if you choose not to celebrate spring on these days you will probably experience “spring fever” if you live in a place that has four seasons.  This is not a physical illness, but a longing to be outside to enjoy warmer spring days after a long, cold winter.

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