Preparing for May Day
After long and dreary winters, humans are ready to party! 🥳 🌸 Springtime holidays span almost every culture in the world. The celebrations can be religious in nature, like Easter, Passover, and Ramadan, or non-religious in nature, such as Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake in England or Cimburijada, “ The Festival of Scrambled Eggs,” in Bosnia. And food features prominently in a majority of the celebrations! One of our favorite celebrations (that is coming up) is May Day, so we wanted to learn more about it... What is May Day?
May Day (May 1st) is a holiday that was traditionally celebrated in England and within the Celtic tradition of marking the return of spring. 🌱 The celebration has its roots in astronomy and agriculture. It was seen as the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice and it was a time to celebrate the sown fields. People honored May Day with: 💐 Decorations of flowers on the homes; 👒 + 🐮 Adorning livestock; and 💃🏻 Music and dance! In Gaelic tradition, the people celebrated the festival of Beltane, meaning “Day of Fire”, a pagan holiday commemorated with a large bonfire and dancing throughout the night in honor and celebration.
How do people celebrate?
One popular May Day tradition is the dance around the Maypole. The folk custom is a spring ritual dance around a pole garnished with flowers and colorful ribbons to symbolize a tree. The tradition dates back to the dances that people used to do around actual trees in hopes of harvesting a large crop.
^^ Pro-tip for your garden this year ^^
Another tradition for May Day is the May Basket. People would leave paper baskets or a cone containing spring flowers and sweets on their neighbor’s doorsteps. Though this tradition is not as widely celebrated as in the past, there are those that still cherish the tradition of honoring the springtime holiday.
So, let's get to the CREATIVITY part . . .
Create your own May Day basket to share with family friends! Let your creativity loose, but here are some ideas to get you started:
🌼 Simply fold a piece of colored paper into the shape of a cone and fill it with wildflowers... and yes, dandelions count!
🧺 Find a real basket (check out your local thrift shops. So many baskets!) and fill it with goodies from baked goods, candies or trinkets, or flowers. Find colorful tissue paper to fill and add some pretty ribbons!
Or . . . Attend one of our 🎨 CrafTEA events to make a gift to include in your basket or give to a loved one!
Long story short:
There are many different ways to revive May Day traditions and make them your own. All in service of sharing the love and joy of springtime with those around you!