Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A May Basket!

When I was a little girl, I always made a May Basket.  My mother would help me pick out flowers from her fresh spring garden, and we would arrange them. 

Basket in hand, I would sneak (or so I thought) next door to our lovely neighbors, the Rowans.  Placing the basket on their door handle, I'd ring the bell and scamper away home.

How many of have done the same for this sentimental holiday?  Millions, I would suspect.  A sweet holiday, celebrating springtime, friendship, the burgeoning season of plenty.

Celts called it Beltane, and the Romans called it Floralia.  But whatever it is called, May 1 has been known as May Day since the Middle Ages.  

Ancient villagers celebrated the end of harsh winter months and the beginning of fertile summer.  There were feasts, game competitions and dancing.  Which brings us to the May Pole. 

May Day was and is, especially in Europe, celebrated with traditional dancing around the maypole.  Colorful ribbons were, and still are, used so the dancers can weave in and out, celebrating the season and what it means to everyone individually.  

But for me, as that child of six or seven, I knew nothing of a Roman holiday, a celebration of summer's fertility, or a call of workers the world over.  I knew my mission was to take the basket next door, run away, back to the business of growing up.

Happy May Day, Everyone!

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