This joyful event was celebrated with a night of games and feasting and merry-making, with bonfires and dancing and happy song.
In the Old Tradition, it was the night when the veil between the Earthworld and the Otherworld became thin and nearly transparent. The Fairy Folk were known to come out on that night to dance.
By the Middle Ages every English village had its Maypole. The bringing in of the Maypole from the woods was a great occasion and was accompanied by much rejoicing and merrymaking. The Maypoles were of all sizes. And one village would compete with another to show who could produce the tallest Maypole. Maypoles were usually set up for the day in small towns, but in London and the larger towns they were erected permanently.
Many of today's May Day customs resemble these combined traditions. The celebrating of May Day by dancing and singing around a maypole tied with colorful streamers or ribbons, choosing a May queen, and leaving May baskets on the doorknobs or front stoops of friends and neighbors -- all are leftovers of the old European traditions.