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 be made with tissue paper or coffee filters I will give directions for both.
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!
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When I was a child in Missouri, we celebrated May Day by making construction paper baskets at school, filling them with flowers, hanging them on neighbors' house door knobs, ringing the doorbell and running away.
It was great fun, but I don't remember how to make the baskets. Can anyone help me? I'd like to share this small May Day tradition with my grandbabies.
By Patti from AZ
I just googled "how to make construction paper baskets" ... There were several hits. I hound the one I made as a kid at Storknet.com. Use the google search engine.
Cut two heart shapes. Cut the bottoms into strips and weave the two hearts together. Add a paper strip handle and fill.
You can also cut a square of paper "pinwheel" style, then overlap and glue the corners to form a basket.
Do you have directions to make a May day basket?
Pat from Central, MA
In the 50's we made them from colored paper. Take a square sheet. Fold in half, fold that in half, and then fold the square into a triange. (Like most people would fold paper to cut paper snow flakes.) Starting 2 inches from the bottom point cut slashes from the long sides, alternating sides. When opened make a handle from a strip of paper, and staple them to the corners of the paper. The basket is amazingly springy when you put candy and flowers in it.
We used to hang them on the front door knobs of our friends, ring the bell and hide.
Silly, and fun, how much better can you get?
Thank you Londa. I'll save the directions.
The ones we made had rows of crepe paper that we somehow scalloped the edges to look like a flower.