“There’s crimson buds, and white and blue,
The very rainbow showers
Have turned to blossoms where they fell,
And sown the earth with flowers.”
– Thomas Hood
Ding dong dash
May 1st is May Day, a day when my mother would help us kids collect and wrap up what flowers we had in our garden to secretly hang on the doorknobs of the neighbor’s doors. We squirmed with delight to imagine their surprise! We were allowed to hang the flower cones, ring the doorbell and run away. Pure fun! And, the beginning of our training to do good always to others. Will you carry on the tradition?
Another May Day memory is of our elementary school Flower Show! There were many classes to enter, such as ‘single flower’, large and small arrangements, ‘dish gardens’ and terrariums. We held our breath as the judges walked around peering closely at our arrangements! After lunch period, we enter the auditorium to find out the results. So much fun, and my brothers and sister and I occasionally got some kind of ribbon. I wonder if schools do this anymore?
Surprising Facts about May Day
“The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. As Europe became Christianized, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and either changed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were merged with or replaced by new Christian holidays as with Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and All Saint’s Day.
May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, and people) and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. Seeding has been completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm laborers a day off.”
In fact, in the US in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, which later became the American Federation of Labor, proclaimed that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886,” offering relief to the American worker.
“Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the Maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons.
The church of St Andrew Undershaft in the City of London is named after the maypole that was kept under its eaves and set up each spring until 1517 when student riots put an end to the custom. The maypole itself survived until 1547 when a Puritan mob seized and destroyed it as a “pagan idol.”
May Day today, is traditional a day to celebrate Spring flowers, hold garden parties and community garden tours. However in many cases the tradition of children sharing flowers as a May Day surprise has been lost. Let’s start it again!
An old Fashioned May Day Garden Party
This is a huge photo, with a lot of detail, taken of a garden party held at the McLean family estate in Washington, DC in 1915. Click to enlarge.
Does anyone ever dance just because of pure delight and happiness? These folk do in this movie clip, “Much Ado About Nothing” Be sure to enlarge the view! Delicious!
Have a wonderful Day tomorrow. Ding Dong,…here’ a surprise for you! Guess from who?!