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)




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