Back in the day when I was a young girl, my classmates and I celebrated May Day. It was celebrated as the coming of spring, but as I have learned through research, it was a pagan holiday celebrated in England before the coming of Christ. A better description would be a festival of flowers.
May Day is the forgotten holiday by many, but the sentiments of the day make it a perfect holiday to remember the beautiful things we have been waiting for all winter. Who does not wait for the first flowers of spring?
Traditionally, May Day was celebrated on May 1. People would make small baskets of flowers and sweets and hang them on their neighbor's doors. You were supposed to try and catch the person who hung it there and if you did the penalty was a kiss from the person you caught. There were great celebrations with young girls who danced the May pole dance and there even were contests to crown the May queen. Back in the 1900's people even exchanged May Day postcards. Here are some easy ways to celebrate this wonderful day.
These can easily be made by kids of all ages.
Fold the paper plate about three quarters of the way up. Staple up the sides to form a pocket. With the paper hole punch, cut two holes to the chenille stem to go through to form a handle. Now color and decorate your paper plate. Now fill it with paper flowers or silk flowers and candy kisses.
*These can be made with tissue paper or coffee filters I will give directions for both.
Stack several pieces of colored tissue paper together. Cutting through all layers divide the paper into fourths. Each fourth makes one flower. Now you will accordion pleat the papers folding the paper back and forth until you have a nice neat little strip. Fold chenille stem in the center and twist tightly. Now fold the strip in up and gently pull the layers of tissue paper apart, fluffing your flower.
Color randomly on about 7 coffee filters to make a nice fluffy flower. Lay the first filter down colored side down and stack the rest colored side up. Gather all the filters together and secure with a chenille stem.
Now the fun part, after you have made your May baskets you get to sneak up and hang them on doors. You could give one to grandma or try and hang one on a co-workers door. For a scout troop, these could be made for a nursing home. How about the elderly neighbor down the street. Hang one on your teacher's door and celebrate the coming of spring!
About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 8 grandsons and one granddaughter. She is a published author and poetress. Recycling and saving money are her passions. She also loves crocheting and cooking. She is also a pet rescue volunteer and has many pets of her own.
What a sweet idea....we should resurrect this meaningful holiday. Many years ago when I was a child in school I vaguely remember skipping around the May pole with other children while winding colored ribbons made of crape paper...it was a happy time.
Great idea! Actually I have never even heard of this holiday. Who doesn't love springtime when we are all in anticipation of green leaves and flowers? How do we go about resurrecting a forgotten holiday?
I live in Hastings, on the south coast of England, and our May Day celebrations last four days! We have maypole dancing at the "Ladies Parlour" - a green in front of our ruined castle on a clifftop. Many Morris Dancing teams visit from all over the country to parade and dance to the live folk music. We have a traditional 8 foot tall "Jack in the Green" creation covered in evergreen leaves, which, after heading a procession around the town and an afternoon of merriment at the castle, is "slain". His leaves are thrown to the crowd, who must keep them for luck over the following 12 months. Only then is the spirit of summer released for another year. Just put "Jack in the Green Hastings" into your search engine and enjoy the photographs. May Day still lives on in England!
I remember the same from grade school. We used satin ribbons. We couldn't have afforded the ribbons. Maybe they were donated by a florist. I share your feelings. It WAS a happy time. Thanks for reminding me.
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