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5.01.2007

Happy May Day!



So I grew up always looking forward to May 1st, what my family knew and celebrated as May Day. While a lot of the country celebrates this holiday with a May Pole we always followed the tradition of making May Baskets for our neighbors. My mother and I would always go to the grocery store together to purchase a bunch of strawberries (so we could use the little green baskets for our base), pipe cleaners (the handle to the basket), and then a bunch of various candies to fill each basket. While I always loved making our May Day Baskets (most of the neighbor’s used Dixie Cups), my favorite part of the tradition was delivering the baskets. The tradition is that you are to try to deliver the baskets without getting caught. We'd ring our neighbors bell, leave the basket, and RUN!!! If you got caught they'd have to kiss you.

So i'm curious....has anyone out there ever heard of this tradition? When I moved to the south for college people thought I was crazy...and i've yet to see this happen in chicago. I looked the Holiday up on Wikipedia and was happy to see that this is a recognized tradition that's unfortunately been fading since the 20th century. SEE BELOW...and please leave comments to tell me how you celebrated the holiday.

WIKIPEDIA:
May Day is May 1, and refers to any of several holidays celebrated on this day. May 1 was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures, and many elements of these holidays are still celebrated on May 1 today, such as the Maypole. While February 1 was the first day of Spring, May 1 was the first day of summer: hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was "midsummer."

In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary's month, and May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, Mary's head (in works of art, school skits, etc.) will often be adorned with flowers. Another May Day tradition (fading in popularity since the late 20th century) is the giving of May baskets, small baskets of candy and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors' doorsteps.

2 comments:

Jennifer said...

May Day? Sounds more like a distress call to me. I've never heard of this until I met you, but that is not why we thought you were crazy.

Megan said...

Yup - I was the neighbor that used the Dixie cup. :) And yes... you did run like HELL... I know I caught you ringing the doorbell a couple years, but could never catch up with your fast little ass running up the hill. :) Those were the days.