Monday, May 5, 2014

The Real May Day: Mid-Spring

File:The Sun by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory - 20100819.jpg
Image of our Sun from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite. The word Beltane, which is the Gaelic May Day festival, literally means "brilliant fire" in reference to the Sun. (Image Source: NASA)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

May 5, which marks the Mexican "Cinco de Mayo" celebration, as well as the beginning of International Astronomy Week, is also the true "May Day." The true mid-point in the Spring season comes on May 5 at 9:54 p.m. EDT / May 6, 1:54 Coordinated Universal Time.

The Celts originally celebrated Beltane as their mid-Spring festival on April 30 or May 1. Today, we continue this tradition with May Day celebrated on May 1. In modern times, May Day is often celebrated as International Labor Day, although America celebrates their Labor Day on the first Monday in September.

However, due to several changes in our calendar over the centuries, the true mid-point in Spring comes on May 5, in the mid-evening in 2014.

May Day is the second cross-quarter day of the year, the mid-point of a calendar season. Other traditional cross-quarter days are February 2 (best known as Groundhog Day), August 1, and October 30 / November 1, 2 (best known as Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day, respectively). As with May Day, the true cross-quarter days of the other three seasons also come a few days after the traditional cross-quarter days.

More on --

May Day: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_day
Beltane: Link 1 >>> http://www.clarkfoundation.org/astro-utah/vondel/crossquartermay.html
             Link 2 >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltane
Cross-Quarter Day : Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-quarter_day
Astronomy Week & Day: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy_Day
Cinco de Mayo Celebration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_mayo

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friend of the Zeiss.

Special Thanks: Eric G. Canali, former Floor Manager of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science and Founder of the South Hills Backyard Astronomers amateur astronomy club.

2014: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Historic Zeiss II Planetarium Projector at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.


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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

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