This festival predates Christianity. It was celebrated as the first day of summer. The manner in which it is celebrated is as varied as the communities hosting the celebrations. For example in Bulgaria, it was seen as the day the snakes came out of the burrows. To protect the field workers, they were given that day off. Too many of those working in the fields were bit by a snake, so to protect the field hands they were given the day off. This was transformed into a festival day. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Women’s Colleges in the US celebrated the new growth of plant life and the coming of the new growing season with festivals and dancing around the May Pole.
Film of students in 1929 (then Mount Mary College.)