Did you celebrate May Day? PDF Print E-mail

OUR & ABOUTgaylevanvooren

By Gayle VanVooren, Mascot Editor

Did you celebrate May Day this year?
Since I visited my Mom the last day of April, I did construct two May baskets — one for her and one for her roommate.
When I came into their room with the bright baskets, they knew immediately what was being celebrated.
They remember the days of making May baskets for their friends, and hanging them on doorknobs and then running away quickly.
My boys may remember some of the May Days we celebrated, too, making cupcakes and other goodies to put into  little baskets.

But most folks have forgotten the significance of the day.

So it was very surprising to have the doorbell ring on Sunday afternoon, and find a little girl delivering May baskets to me. What a thrill.
The paper cups were decorated with all kinds of sayings, and one had a beaded handle on it. Both had handmade flowers adorning them.
And tucked inside were candy treats that anyone would like.
Katlin, Bryce, and Brianna Gile were the makers of the baskets, and their thoughtfulness is so appreciated.
The May Day tradition dates way back in history. It was a pagan holiday that was associated with setting of new fire. Cattle were driven through the fire to purify them, and men, with their sweethearts, passed through the smoke for good luck.
In later years, May Day became a time to devote to Flora, the goddess of flowers. Maypole dancing became the custom, and then the May Tree had relevance. Arbor Day and May Day seem to now go hand-in-hand, for everyone knows the significance of trees.
The tradition of celebrating May Day by dancing and singing around a maypole, tied with colorful streamers or ribbons, survived as part of the English tradition.
The kids celebrating the day by moving back and forth around the pole with the streamers, choosing of May queen, and hanging of May baskets on the doorknobs of folks are all the leftovers of the old European traditions.
May, the arrival of Spring, of trees budding, flowers beginning to bloom, fields being planted, and the warm sunshine certainly call for a little May basket building.
Next year, I’m going to make a few more