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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

If I Had A Song . . .

I'd sing it in the morning
I'd sing it in the evening
All over this land . . .

If I had a song . . . I’d sing Happy May Day to each of you . . .
Years ago . . . my May Day was something like this . . .

*******

This May Day tradition is worth bringing back . . .

Anna Thomas Bates, Special to the Journal Sentinel
(this is not the complete article copied here)

While May 1 might be just another day on the calendar for most of us, throughout history it held
special significance as the midpoint between the spring equinox and summer solstice.

From roaring bonfires to a Maypole bedecked with ribbons and flowers, community picnics
and sweet flower-filled baskets left anonymously on a neighbor’s doorstep,
May Day has a few traditions worth bringing back.

May Day has been celebrated by different cultures as the launch of summer, good weather
and the season of abundance. In Celtic tradition, it was called Beltane, a holiday marked
by large fires and herdsman driving flocks to new, green pastures.
It was a festival of renewal and fertility.

Nineteenth-century Victorians sought to tame the sometimes wild Celtic rituals,
transforming it into a celebration of spring, maidens and virtue.
The traditional English May Day’s most familiar symbol is the Maypole.

A large wooden pole was set up with colorful ribbons attached to the top.
Young girls and boys danced around it, each holding the end of the ribbon as they circled,
changed places and weaved different patterns.

In this 1947 photo, a little girl identified as Connie Wear of Lakewood, Wis., hangs a May basket
that she made in nursery school. (Photo: Wisconsin Historical Society)

In this 1947 photo, a little girl identified as Connie

A tradition regularly practiced in different parts of this country a generation ago, but less so now,
was delivering May baskets. A homemade basket, usually fashioned from paper,
was filled with seasonal flowers or edible treats. The giver would hang the basket on a friend
or neighbor’s doorknob, ring the bell and run away.



The May baskets I remember looked something like this . . .
I am going way back to my growing up in rural Wisconsin
and remembering making May baskets with my mother.
And also remembering the first May basket hung on the door knob of our house.

And continuing on . . . I remember my first teaching years in Wisconsin
and making cone shaped May baskets out of colored construction paper
with my young students.

They looked much like the ones above, found on Pinterest.
I remember dancing around a May pole too . . . much like in the photo below.

All Photos, articles were found on Pinterest, Safari, Wikipedia . . . none are mine personally.

The Pete Seeger song . . . “If I had a hammer/song . . . “ kept playing in my mind as I thought about
years ago. Who knows why that song was the one strumming through my mind . . .

It’s the little things . . .
‘till next time . . .
Happy May Day my friends . . .
love
lynne

14 comments:

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Happy May Day to you Lynne .... it is a beautiful day here today ... clear blue skies .... just what we needed after a week of rain, cold temperatures and stong winds !!! I shall be doing some gardening today ! XXXX

John Gray said...

Best , best wishes from wales

Pondside said...

Those were lovely traditions, but sadly none of them are to be found here anymore. I remember that lovely baskets were hung on the doors when we lived in Germany. I thought it was such a charming tradition.

amanda said...

Yes! My mom drove us around or rural neighborhood, parked hidden at the end of driveways, and we would sneak up with baskets (we wove ours from construction paper) knock, and run away! There are no seasonal flowers yet in northern MN on May Day, but we filed or baskets with baked goodies and lemon drops. :)


Jeanie said...

I should have read this post two days ago and made May baskets for people. It's delightful -- I love the traditions and remember making the baskets when I was a kid. A few years ago friends had a party and we had a maypole! Fun!

bill burke said...

and a happy May Day to you, Lynne.

Kim said...

Happy May Day!! It is finally warm and sunny here, so we are smiling today. Yay!!!

Karen Ann said...

Well I did not know you had a blog! Just figured it out.. lol... Believe it or not, I've no experience with May poles - what a lovely tradition. Beautiful day here, Happy May!

Missy George said...

Lovely post Lynne... we seem to lose bits and pieces of tradition as the years pass. Thanks for the refresher. Happy May Day

krishna said...

Happy May Day dear..

David Gascoigne said...

It is interesting to see the children at the maypole. A few years ago while visiting Britain I attended a village festival and this event, along with many other traditional pastimes, like horn dancing, was featured. I was about to take a picture and I was promptly informed by one of the locals that it was not permitted to take pictures of children. Apparently this is some kind of safeguard against pedophilia. The world has become a strange and unfriendly place indeed.

bj said...

For some reason, we didn't celebrate May Day...and I am sad about that. It's such a delightful tradition....

Marge in Michigan said...

What a delightful post, Lynne.I once was on the receiving end of a May basket from a friend I worked with and her 3-daughters. I loved it!

Sketchbook Wandering said...

I LOVE this post! We danced the Maypole in 3rd grade...And then, 2 years ago, in my small town. The first one was a mess of tangles with lots of giggles, the second went perfectly, but still lots of smiles and laughs...I also always loved the May baskets...I think we made them in Camp Fire Girls or something...