Happy May Day All

When I was a little girl I loved May Day because for me it meant the beginning of my birthday (which I say last all month), and it was glorious spring,my favorite season, in its truest sense, beautiful weather and amazing flowers blooming everywhere. I would go and gather all I could, come home and make little paper baskets and then deliver them to all the ladies in my neighborhood.

As I grew I fell out of this tradition just seeing it as another day to work. People didn’t celebrate it anymore. There were no parades or Maypoles for my children, no one hung flowers on my door. It was the death of a beloved tradition.

Now I understand where this celebration came from and why it occurred at all, and how it has evolved through the centuries and around the globe into a much more modern occasion.

BirdFlowers

In ancient times many cultures celebrated this time of year with joy at the renewal of life. For the ancient Druids it was the Celtic festival of Beltane, for the Romans Flora,

Goddess of Flowers, flora

and in Germany and the Scandinavian countries it is called Walpurgisnacht, and it is here where we get the Maypole. may-day-germany

From France comes the tradition of flowers when King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. may-lily-of-the-valley1

Here in America the Puritans let children hang baskets of flowers on doorknobs.

maydaypuritan

A more modern version of this rite of spring started in 1890 when the American Federation of Labor called for a day of protest in their fight for the 8 hour workday.

mayday1907

 

Whatever the reason you or however you celebrate May Day I hope you take a few moments to think of all those who came before you and why they celebrated, for me that will be …renewal and hope.

Enjoy your Springtime Y’all

Lizz

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