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May December romance

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on July 28, 2009 at 20:47

In Reply to: May December romance posted by Baceseras on July 28, 2009 at 14:20:

: : I know a May December romance is an older person and younger person in a relationship, but why is it called a May December romance?

: From the age-old tradition of personifying the seasons of the year, especially in visual and performing arts - May, the Springtime, a fresh young thing; December, Winter, old and weary. - Baceseras.

Because in May nature is fresh, green and fertile, and December is it is withered and "old" and appears dead. The idea dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was commonplace to picture the spring months personalised as beautiful young people, and the winter months as wizened old ones. Chaucer wrote in his "Merchant's Tale" about a doddering old man called "Sir January" who marries a lovely young girl called "May". In the 14th century when Chaucer was writing, the year officially began on the Feast of the Ascension (March 25th), but in the 18th century when Britain adopted the Gregorian Calendar New Year was shifted to January 1. Now that January was the beginning of the year, whereas December was the end, the proverbial idea very naturally changed from "May-January" to "May-December". (VSD)