The name for our month May comes from the Latin mensis Maius, the "month of Maia". She was the daughter of Atlas who bore Mercury to Jupiter and the most beautiful of the seven sisters called the Pleiades. (The rising of the Pleiades in Italy is about the beginning of May.)

In early times, the first of May celebrated spring with dancing around maypoles and crowning a May queen. In recent times, the first of May has been regarded in a number of places as an international holiday to celebrate labor organizations. For example, consider the May Day parades in Red Square in Moscow.

First of May

May, called the merry month,
Celebrates spring with those
Ribbon-decked poles;
Nowadays, though, it is
Unions of laborers
Dancing at polls.