The ancient Romans’ honoring of the agricultural goddess Ceres with entertainment in the Circus Maximus marked the beginning of the celebration of the coming of the month of May, which culminates in the coming of spring after a long winter. the spring.
In a report published by the Australian website ” The Conversation “, writer Peter Mancal, professor of humanities at the College of Arts, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California, said that despite the differences in traditions by country and culture, the manifestations of the celebration of the Spring Festival are similar, as revelers often erect a “May mast”. They decorate it with long colorful ribbons, and food and drink are part of the festive atmosphere and the fun continues for hours, and these rituals are present today in parks and on college campuses throughout the United States and Europe.
It is tempting to attribute the pilgrims’ hostility to this holiday to the pessimistic and gloomy stereotype associated with their faith, which is common in historical and artistic sources, where they are known for their lack of humor and “excessive piety”, which are the same reasons that led them to ban Christmas celebrations.
But their attack on a feast in Plymouth Colony (southeast of Massachusetts) in 1628 reveals much about their attitude toward all who do not agree with their world view.
Festive occasion or “blasphemy”?
The celebrants of this holiday sang and danced in the church, which frightened the religious priests, and the participants in these rituals always dragged a large tree uprooted from a nearby forest to be erected in the center of the city, and it was a symbol of their irreligious behavior.
For many, however, the May pole was simply an occasion for noisy celebration without any religious dimension, and King James of England and Ireland (1603-1625) believed that such poles “does no harm”, and criticized the Puritans’ efforts to abolish the feast.
Once in New England, the Puritans believed they should be an example of proper Christian behavior, and everyone in their cities had to abide by their rules, and they punished colonists whose actions undermined religious practice.
As the future governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop (1588-1649) allegedly declared that the Puritans would build a “city on a mountain”, and claimed that all their actions would be visible to the whole world including God, and any departure from strict obedience to what was written in the Bible could be threatens their entire mission.
Morton “Lord of the Underworld”
The Pilgrims established their community in Plymouth, Wampanoag, Patuxet, in 1620. In the years that followed, other English immigrants arrived in the area. They did not adhere to many of the strict teachings of the pilgrims. The motive was to make money from trade, not to escape persecution because their beliefs (such as pilgrims).
A small group of these colonists moved kilometers northwest of Plymouth, and lawyer Thomas Morton, who had arrived in New England between 1624 and 1625, eventually became the unofficial leader of this camp, which was known as Marymount.
In 1628 – with the blessing of Morton – the colonists erected a “Maypole” 80 feet high, and crowned it with deer antlers in preparation for the celebration of the Spring Festival.
The writer pointed out that the mast immediately drew the attention of the Plymouth authorities, as did Morton’s actions, and those gathered in Marymount sang vulgar songs, and invited Native American women to join them.
In this regard, then-governor of the colony, William Bradford, wrote that the colonists in the small community “revived and celebrated the feasts of the Roman goddess Ceres”.
In Bradford’s words, Morton ran a “school of atheism”, and lived with his followers “great immorality” and a “corrupt life”, and instead of allowing them to frolic, the Pilgrims sent a group of armed men to arrest their leader, where they quickly exiled Morton to England, and in The following year John Endicott, a recent immigrant who shares many of the pilgrims’ beliefs, cut down the mast, much to Bradford’s satisfaction.
A harbinger of more destruction
One might wonder why hardcore Puritans want to wipe out a nice vacation.
In contrast, as a historian of early New England, the writer sees Bradford’s condemnation of Morton and the destruction of Maypole as a harbinger of future violence, and since Puritans believe in fate and are convinced that everything that happens is part of a divine plan, they must come to the conclusion that God sent Morton to test them. , and that the solution is to exile him and destroy the Mayo pillars
A decade later, with tensions growing between the colonists and the natives, the Plymouth pilgrims along with the Puritans from Massachusetts found themselves facing a new test, and in 1637 the consequences were far worse than they had been in Marymount, where the colonists set Pecott on fire. And they shot those who tried to escape.
Historians estimate that at least 400 Native Americans perished in one night, and like other English colonists, the Pilgrims believed they needed to displace the Native American population to create their own communities, causing them to attack anyone they saw as a threat. Colonial leaders such as Winthrop and Bradford They think that anyone who shows a sign of disobedience should be punished, concludes the writer
According to a report by previous Al-Jazeera Net, the Native Americans (American Indians) have been resisting for 4 centuries the encroachment of European Americans, then the resistance collapsed and ended completely after the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890, which put an end to the Wars of the Red Indians and ended the era of the natives who lived in the prairie.