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May 1 - What Is One Third Of The Year - A Tertile or Trimester

Updated on April 29, 2012

May Day Pirates And May Queens

pic thanks to peroshenka @ Flickr
pic thanks to peroshenka @ Flickr

May Day Is A Holiday And Life Checkpoint

May 1 is a holiday that has been relegated to the sideline as an obscure Spring holiday that many people around the world do not see as very significant or celebrate in the traditional fashion as they would the more ubiquitous Christian Easter or Christmas celebrations. May queens and May baskets may blossom in some areas, but outside of Europe it is commonly just a subtitle on the calendar that reminds people that May Day has arrived. The United States government seems to want to further remove the significance of this date by reclaiming it as Law Day or Americanization Day, or whatever suits the current agenda. Numerology has an important relevance on May 1 which is considered a cross-quarter day on the neopagan wheel of the year because it is exactly half a year from November 1. For the casual, non-pagan observer it marks what is one third of a year. On leap years this is 122 days into the new year with 244 left to go, and on non-leap years it is a day short of being precisely one third into the year. May 1 and May Day can be a time to look back on the choices and events that have unfolded since the turning of the New Year and an opportunity to make plans for the remainder two thirds that lie ahead.

In determining what is one third of a year, one can often go by months and to take that easier calculation method it can be seen that May lines up and can either be considered a trimester or tertile depending on who you are speaking with. Trimester is the word more closely associated to academic terms and pregnancy durations, while tertile is a somewhat more general statistical term denoting approximately the same thing. To go by a more precise calculation of days, it can be seen that the leap year is in fact the time when the stars more closely align and divide into perfect thirds. Tertile is an interesting term to describe this grouping because of the similarity of that word to turtle. Most everyone is familiar with the story of the Tortoise and the Hare or the cosmological expression that it is "turtles all the way down." The closing of the first third of the year is a time to assess the quality of one's consciousness and manner in which it has been expressed through actions. That is all that really matters. May Day is significantly far away from the commencement of New Year's resolutions that one can do a check to see how progress is being made, and yet May 1st is still significantly far away from the end of the year that changes can be made and mistakes forgiven in order to reach the ultimate goal instead of recycling the same New Year's resolution for the upcoming year. With something like 80% - 90% of people failing to live up to reaching their stated personal goals and overcoming the bad habits which seemed so clear a necessary lifestyle change when the Times Square ball dropped, the tertile is a waystation of a reality check. Like the revered tortoise, the year is merely getting started, and there is plenty of time to reverse and regain control over errant ways, should one focus and determine that change actually needs to be made. So enjoy the May Day festivities in whichever fashion your family or culture traditionally does, however, do not forget to review your path.


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    • againsttheodds profile image

      againsttheodds 5 years ago

      Thanks for the comment everyone, enjoy the remaining tertile of your May Day.

    • profile image

      whowas 5 years ago

      Interesting hub, thanks.

      Here in old England the ancient pagan festivities such as garlanding and maypole dancing and courting the ladies and perhaps drinking a little too much beer are still fairly commonplace, although the original meaning of these things is most likely lost on many contemporary celebrants.

      The most important thing about May 1st here in Europe is that it is a general holiday!

      However, I like your idea of using it as a time to take stock and check progress, adjusting plans as necessary. Very sound advice and a logical time to do so.

      Great hub, thanks again.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 5 years ago from Northern California

      Voted up. I don't know if you're old enough to remember this. But I'm reminded of an old Soupy Sales joke.

      Soupy had three glasses of water on his desk. Two were full, and the last was only 2/3 full. Pointing to the first two glasses, he said that these represented Henry VIII and Louis XIV. Then pointing to the other glass, he asked: What does this one represent?

      A: Phillip the Third!