King of the May

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The King of the May is a figure in the mythology of Great Britain and Ireland, as well as a folk custom. Every year, or every seven years, a man from the village would be chosen to represent the King of the May. He would bring fertility to the village, and during the time that he was in power, he could impregnate any woman in the village. At the end of his "reign," he would be ritually sacrificed and a new King of the May would be chosen. According to J.G. Frazer's The Golden Bough, this type of custom was derived from earlier Indo-European tree worship fertility rituals.[1]

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  1. ^ Frazer, J. (1900). The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. Macmillan, pp. 224-232.