D Get’s May Day(ed)
One of the greatest traditions I remember being taught by my grandmother was May Day. I love the thought of random acts of kindness and don’t even care if it may seem to some as a forced day of kindness like Valentines is a force day of love and Thanksgiving is a forced day to gorge yourself to the point of needing sweat pants.
I thought including the beautiful snowy outdoors in my picture of my May Day basket was a good call. And fitting as Facebook is slammed with comments about the snow in Colorado on May 1, 2013.
There is a lot of information on May Day and just as much about the origin of May Day and it’s evolution through the years. You can throw in the Religious sides of May Day, the Worker Bees side or you can just take it for what I remember it as being as a child. Now some may call that naive and say I am walking around with blinders on my face, but seriously, I’ve read all the background and a good will day sounds like the best and most universal way to approach May Day.
CELEBRATING MAY DAY:
- United States: May Baskets are made. These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone’s doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs away. The person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver. If they catch the person, a kiss is exchanged. (I’m not sure that I ever chased after someone for a kiss, in fact I think all the May Day baskets I ever got were from my friends and not potential boyfriends)
- Germany: The celebration usually begins the night before with gatherings and bonfires. And was established as a public holiday in 1933
- France: On May 1, 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, on May 1. The government permits individuals and workers’ organizations to sell them tax-free. Nowadays, people may present loved ones either with bunches of lily of the valley or dog rose flowers
- Ireland: May Day has been celebrated in Ireland since pagan times as the feast of Bealtaine and in latter times as Mary’s day. Traditionally, bonfires were lit to mark the coming of summer and to banish the long nights of winter. Officially Irish May Day holiday is the first Monday in May. Old traditions such as bonfires are no longer widely observed, though the practice still persists in some places across the country. Limerick, Clare and many other people in other counties still keep on this tradition.
No matter what you do or how you do it, it is just a nice gesture. I typically just hand them out at work, no more doorbell ditching. It is another way to share a smile or two and show how much you appreciate the people in your life. Thank you to my friend Rose for the great surprise, you made me smile from the inside out, quoting the Grinch “I’m all toasty inside”! Again, thank you, Rose.