"Happy May Day"

The month of May was come,
when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom,
and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring
forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that
is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.
For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.
Sir Thomas Malory, 1485

The origin of the May Day as a day for celebration dates back to the days, even before the birth of Christ. And like many ancient festivals it too has a Pagan connection. 

May Day is a time to celebrate the onset of May, the month that sees the Earth reaching itself ready to burgeon to its maximum capacity. Since the ancient days in England there prevailed a custom of "bringing in the May" on May Day. This was why people would go to the woods in the early dawn. There they picked flowers and lopped off tender branches to bring them in and decorate the houses.
May Day and flowers: It has always been strongly associated with flowers. Partly may be because of their availability in abundance. But that is not all. There are other reasons as well. For instance, the May Garland and beggar girls. Making garland is one of those ancient May Day customs that has survived still today. May garlands, is meant for the coming of summer. May garlands were also used while begging by the kids from door to door. At other times of the year begging would have been an offence. But if it was done at May time with a garland. This is why groups of small girls, crowned with leaves and flowers, went from door to door singing and begging. 

Maypole dance: On the first day of May, English villagers woke up at daybreak to roam the countryside gathering blossoming flowers and branches. A towering maypole was set up on the village green. This pole, usually made of the trunk of a tall birch tree, was decorated with bright field flowers. The villagers then danced and sang around the maypole, accompanied by a piper. 

In Hawaii the May Day is celebrated with the tradition of Lei. A festival of the natives of Hawaii, nurtured since time immemorial, Lei was officially celebrated first in 1929. Lei Day is celebrated in Hawaii instead of May Day. Schools throughout the islands crown their own kings and queens and create courts in celebration, and to honor the people and customs of Hawaii. 

May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American  continent. In some parts of the United Stater.  May Baskets are made. These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone's doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs away. The person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver. If they catch the person, a kiss is exchanged

* * * * *

As a child I remember my mom always made sweet little May Baskets filled with flowers and put them on the door knobs of her friends homes.  It was a special day to her, it welcomed spring.

"Happy May Day Everyone"

1 comment:

Susan said...

Happy May day to you, too! I love all your pretty pics and the fact that your mom made those cute little flower arrangements for the door.