Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy First of May!

Mom chose Tabitha as our May Queen this year - Tabitha  was surprised and wanted to freshen up a bit before the celebrations begin   Excuse her for a moment while she grooms!

Mom loves this old fashioned holiday.  In her childhood, they would have bonfires the night before and decorate the Maypole with crepe paper and flowers.  At her parochial school they had a special day with a procession of children dressed in their best clothes with one girl chosen to crown the statue of Mary with a garland of flowers.  Mom was actually chosen to do that one year.

She also made May baskets - These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someones doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs away.

Wishing you all a lovely First Day of May!  Here are some trivia bits about this cool day plus pics of the flowers in our yard!

Our strawberries

 The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe.

Hawthorn blooms
 A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May. Various Neopagan groups celebrate reconstructed (to varying degrees) versions of these customs on May 1.

Lily of the Valley

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. 

Azalea with a bumblebee moth
 The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. 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. (info from Wikipedia)



Angel Prancer Pie said...

What lovely pics for a lovely holiday! We didn't know any of this.

Happy May Day, furriends!

The Swiss Cats said...

We celebrate May Day with lily of the valley ; ours in the garden is lovely for today ! Purrs

Summer at said...

Happy May Day!

Cats Herd You said...

Tabitha, you look like you have a flowery hat on in the first photo.

Hannah and Lucy said...

Thank you for showing the lovely wild flowers and who better to be May Queen than Tabatha. May Day here is just another one day holiday and hardly any of the old traditions are upheld.
Happy May Day to you.
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Brian's Home Blog said...

Oh Tabitha, you and the flowers are so beautiful!

Terri said...

We learned so much about May Day! I think the May basket on door knobs is wonderful tradition :)

Fuzzy Tales said...

Happy May Day!

We didn't know that February 1st was the first day of spring in ancient times, with May 1st the first day of summer...obviously in warmer, now-European countries.

Most of our trees don't even have buds on them yet, that's how cold it's been. Our human still wears mittens outside!


Mom remembers MayDay as a child in school was always celebrated by decorating the May Pole. Nowaday I bet kids don't do this as it is probably too old fashioned for their tastes. Thank you for reminding of this today. Mom also said to tell you she has an entry level Nikon the 3100 series. It has served her well but she is ready to graduate to the 6100 series. She hopes she can this year.

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

You look lovely in your flowers Tabitha. We still uphold some May Day celebrations here in the Westcountry, the most famous being the Padstow Obby Oss. Our village has a May Day procession with carnival floats made by the villagers. Now though,it is usually held on the first Saturday of May for convenience.

A Tonl said...

You certainly are patient Tabitha! We'd have told mommy where to put those flowers, for sure! MOL!

The Island Cats said...

We never realized May Day was such a big holiday!

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

sooo sweet!

Marg said...

Wow, those flowers are so very pretty. Tabitha, you look good in your flower hat. Hope you all had a great May 1st. Take care.

Marilia said...

Beautiful Tabitha!!!!
Have a nice weekend!

da tabbies o trout towne said...

tabitha...ewe due may day proud...happee may day two everee one N yur mom taked GRATE pick food serviss gurls gram maw getted ta be de may day queen once two !!! heerz two a wild whitefish week oh end ♥

meowmeowmans said...

Happy May Day to you, dear friends! Tabitha, you are a really good sport letting Mom put those flowers on your head. :)

Thank you for sharing about our adoptable pal Mercedes on Facebook. She's an awesome kitty, and we would love for her to find the forever home she so deserves!


Just Mags said...

Tabitha you are beautiful as are the May flowers atop you. All these pictures are wonderful and the flowers are beautiful. Hugs and nose kisses

Donna said...

That is sweet. I am glad I learned something. :)



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