On May 1st, May Day ushers in a traditional celebration of flowers and spring. In many ancient calendars, May 1st welcomed the first day of summer. This was truly a cause for celebration.
One of the more popular rituals was harvesting flowers and giving them to neighbors and strangers in cone-shaped baskets. These May Baskets become more commonly known as May Day Baskets. The current tradition is observed by hanging a cone-shaped basket full of flowers or other gifts on the outside doorknob, then knocking or ringing the doorbell and running away.
May Day has been a traditional day of celebration for centuries, with some of the earliest appearing in pre-Christian times. In English tradition, the observance is celebrated by crowning a May Queen and dancing around a maypole. The Finnish recognize a carnival-type celebration in the streets that includes a special type of lemonade made with lemons, brown sugar, and yeast. In France, it is correct to give people either dogwood or lily of the valley while Italians celebrate with a seasonal feast in honor of the arrival of spring.
HOW TO OBSERVE #MayDay
While there are several ways to celebrate the day, don’t limit yourself to just one! Choose several of these spring options:
- Dance! Either dance around a May Pole or just dance with someone near to you.
- Plant flowers. Make a point of planting wildflowers and you will attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
- Make a flower crown. When you’ve finished, wear it or put it on the queen in your life.
- Fill a basket with flowers. Then, deliver it to your neighbor, ring the bell, and run!
- You can also deliver flower bulbs that your friends and neighbors can plant in their yards.
- Make a May Basket. Download this design to make and fill it with flowers to share.
Use #MayDay when posting on Social Media.
MAY DAY HISTORY
May Day has ancient roots dating back to Celtic traditions. The spring equinox beckoned the coming of warmer days and called for celebrations filled with rituals that ensured fertile crops and livestock. Many of the practices included dances, songs, flowers, and other traditions lost to time.