Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy May Day!!!

Happy May Day !
How many of you remember actually celebrating May Day? I do!!! I LOVED it!!! and I am mad at myself for not doing something about it this year! What a fun tradition it was to take the time to make home-made May baskets and fill them with goodies.............and go to our friends and neighbors and leave our baskets on their doorknobs!!! OH how I loved doing that! I wish this tradition would re-surface! My Mom was very faithful to gather the materials it took to make the baskets and fill them with penny candy!!! I think our materials were: construction paper, glue, crayons and that was about it!............later with my own children we grew "lazy" and started using paper cups as the "basket".........and either tied or stapled on some kind of a handle..........that laziness should have been a sign that the tradition was going down the TUBES!..........I am sure SOME of you still celebrate this delightful day...........please let me know if you do! And HOW you do it!!!!...........I would LOVE to write a book on May Day ideas!!!
Anyhooo.....go gather yourself a bouquet of wildflowers and plop them delightfully into a basket at least!!!

Handing out May Day baskets is a charming and gentle activity for children and adults. It's a tradition that Louisa May Alcott wrote of in "Jack and Jill" (Chapter 18):
"The job now in hand was May baskets, for it was the custom of the children to hang them on the doors of their friends the night before May-day; and the girls had agreed to supply baskets if the boys would hunt for flowers, much the harder task of the two. Jill had more leisure as well as taste and skill than the other girls, so she amused herself with making a goodly store of pretty baskets of all shapes, sizes, and colors, quite confident that they would be filled, though not a flower had shown its head except a few hardy dandelions, and here and there a small cluster of saxifrage."


Beth said...

In my neighborhood, our houses didn't have round doorknobs--we had latches--so we had to leave them on the porch. If you caught the person that left the basket, you had to give them a little kiss. That made us girls very sneaky...none of us wanted any of those stinky boys with cooties to kiss us!

We also made our own baskets from construction paper, and all of the neighbor kids got one from us. As soon as we got home from school, we put the baskets together and filled them. We put in a little popcorn as a filler, then candy corn, m&ms, and other small candies. As I got older and my little sister continued this holiday, she got baskets made of Solo cups with a pipe cleaner as a handle.

Every May Day, I think about this sweet holiday. I would still like a basket left on my porch, and I wouldn't mind making them for my friends. Maybe I wouldn't be so sneaky around the boys!

Heidi Zawisza said...

That's sooo funny that you are writing about this. I was just telling Robin about May Day the other day, and telling her that I wished we still celebrated it! She had never heard of the tradition before.........I was totally going to do it this year, and of course didn't! Maybe next year!
Anyways, I LOVED making and giving the baskets as a was so exciting! Thanks for doing it with us. Great memories!