E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
May-pole, May-queen, etc.
Dancing round the May-pole on May-day, going a-Maying, electing a May-queen, and lighting bonfires, are all remnants of Sun-worship, and may be traced to the most ancient times. The chimney-sweeps used to lead about a Jack-i-the-green, and the custom is not yet quite extinct (1895).