Here are some tidbits about May Day, (May 1st) that you might find interesting ~~
Traditionally in pre-Christian European pagan holidays, the first day of May celebrated the first day of summer, with the summer solstice then being June 21. For us in the northern hemisphere it’s a signal that warmer weather is on the way and we no longer have to endure the harsh days of winter.
May 1st has always been a day of celebration, festivals and new growth with flowers being the center of attraction. Leaving little “May baskets” filled with goodies and/or flowers on the porch of a neighbor, ringing the doorbell and running away, was a favorite American ritual with school-age children until fairly recently. Although the practice continues, especially by children of basketmakers!
Have your children filled their baskets with goodies and then left them on the porch, ringing the doorbell of people they like and then running away? As the lore goes, if you get caught hanging the basket on the doorknob or putting it on the porch, then the person that discovers you has to kiss you!
Another way that people have celebrated May Day is through the use of a May Pole; a birch or maple pole adorned with flowers and ribbon streamers attached to the top of the pole, reaching the ground. Each person grasps the end of a ribbon and then dance around the May Pole, creating wonderful “woven” patterns.
Dancing around the May Pole stems from old Germanic paganism and was practiced by the Germanic countries. And in more modern times, practiced in Germany, Sweden, Finland and English as a rite of Spring.
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