Monday, April 14, 2008

May Day is Coming...

Do you remember the practice of celebrating May Day? It's a centuries old tradition, now mostly practiced in the US by teachers and children in school. At least I haven't seen any May Day poles being erected in my town just yet. If you have one in yours, send me a link!

I've never been sure of the exact significance of May Day, I just remember celebrating it as a child. When I was probably about 4 or 5, I remember place a May Day basket of flowers on my grandmother's doorknob, ringing the bell and running to hid behind the car. To me it was such an exciting event to give someone something so pretty!

In high school we celebrated May Day. My junior year they had an assembly in the gym. 2 other girls and I sang Friends by Michael W. Smith (I remember it had to be approved by the board because it was a christian song and for a secular school.) An appropriate song for the times, as well as it being our last assembly before beloved senior friends graduated. I have a picture somewhere, I'll have to dig it out. Anyway, I remember a group of May Day dancers, they might have been from our school, I don't remember. They came and did a traditional May Pole dance, with the streamers, pole, and music and everything. They had garlands of flowers in their hair. Beautiful ceremony.

My mom sent me this link to a May Day project. The girls and I will be working on some (I'll share pics soon.) We plan to hang them on our elderly neighbors' doors in 2 weeks. Here's how to make a head garland with real flowers, I'm sure you could substitute fake flowers as well. I'm posting this a couple weeks ahead of May Day. I always hate finding projects on THE DAY of a holiday and not having time to work on them.

What will you do to celebrate May Day? Whose life will you brighten?

(pictures borrowed from these sources:
Wesleying U, U of M, Victorian Trading Co. and SkipToMyLou.)


e. beck said...

hey! great idea .....
i don't think i've even thought of may day since i was a VERY little girl .... but i'm gonna hop right on this and surprise some people! hooray .....

Angela Harris said...

I love this idea. I never knew this is what you did on May day. I will make some this year for sure! Thank you for the tip! & the sweet pictures.

Kersten said...

I remember celebrating May Day! The last time was when I picked a bunch of spring tulips from a neighbor's yard for my Mom. Needless to say, Mom got a phone call from an unhappy neighbor and I got to go apologize. :)

So I pulled out my We'Moon calendar and here's what is said about May Day, or what the ancients call Beltane.

"Beltane is the ancient Celtic festival of fire, fertility and love. At the height of spring when nature bursts into blossom, we celebrate our bodies, the pleasure we can evoke in one another, and the love that we can kindle.

At Beltane, we dance the Maypole. The twining ribbons of many colors remind us of the many aspects of love.

We light a fire, and jump the flames with lovers, friends, circlemates, to cless and cleanse our relationshipos. We wear wreaths of flowers, to celebrate the flourishing life around us."

Oh yes, it's been two weeks since I've cracked the spine on Emma - must get back into reading mode!