By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (May 1, 2024) – In this edition of Fun with Maps we celebrate more feasts and bonfires as we welcome the month of May – all across Europe.

May Day

Today is May Day, May 1, celebrated throughout much of Europe, marking the beginning of summer.

Its origins trace to Roman times, but also have pagan roots.  While customs vary across the continent, the themes remain similar. 

Maypoles are erected in many places and dancing and feasts ensue.  Bonfires either the night of or night before are lit.  In multiple places a May Queen is chosen among the local maidens.

In some countries May 1 is a holiday, allowing many to appropriately celebrate.

This map of Europe is from 1792 and is by Elwe.

European Continent – 1792 (Credti Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.