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Posts tagged ‘traditions’

Embrace May Flowers


Happy May Day!

Time for a new wreath!

When I was a child at Bonita Elementary School in Crows Landing, California (yes, there is a town by that name), May Day was a very special occasion.

In the classroom on the morning of May 1st we made baskets of paper or ribbon. Then we went out into the fields around the school and picked wildflowers. We hung our baskets on doorknobs around town, rang the doorbell, and hid in the bushes as we watched the surprised resident answer the door and find the colorful, hanging gift. In it was an invitation to come to the school that afternoon for our May Pole Dance.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com
Sometimes we used our school colors for the ribbons
Other times we used an assortment of colors

It was not uncommon for us to dress in special costumes, but sometime, like the first picture of the Maypole, we would dress in white. Notice the flower wreaths in our hair. Ah yes, we went all out!

We’d weave in and out of each other to create the braided base on the Maypole. You can tell this last picture is recent. Back in the 40s and 50s no girls would be caught dead coming to school in Levis!! We would have probably been sent home!

Music would accompany our dance around the Maypole … The YouTube below shows that in some places, May Day still is celebrated in today’s world.

It’s a more complicated process than you might imagine!

I wonder if they still do
the baskets with flowers
in school rooms
and neighborhoods anywhere?

I love May flowers!

If you don’t have a wildflower field nearby,

maybe you can go to FTD and order your May Day flowers today!
There are lots of beautiful arrangements from which to choose!

Have a Happy May Day, my friends.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

Embrace May Flowers!

Do you do anything special for May Day?

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)

Remembering May Poles


The Way it Was

When I was a child at Bonita Elementary School in Crows Landing, California, May Day was a very special occasion. We always created a May Pole around the flag pole at the front of the beautiful, two-story brick building. We dressed in colorful clothes and practiced days in advance to be sure we knew how to weave the ribbons properly. Parents came to watch as students assembled in the front of the school. The band played. The principal spoke, and teachers did special art projects in the classrooms.

I especially remember Mrs. Horwedel, my 4th grade teacher, who had us go out into the fields near the school and pick wild flowers. Then we made paper baskets, filled them with the flowers, and created unique cards.

They weren’t as pretty as the one pictured here, of course, but we thought they were! Some of us took them home to give to our mom. Others hung them on a doorknob of a friend’s house as they walked toward home. (You hang it, ring the doorbell, and run to hide). It’s a surprise! A few decided to hang them on the door of a favorite teacher’s classroom.

Today’s World

In today’s world, there are few schools surrounded by fields with wildflowers, and buying flowers is too expensive. So, the tradition of the May Day baskets has pretty much gone by the wayside, right?

But May Poles didn’t cost much. Just a few bucks for some crepe paper or ribbon strips, and time to practice. I think it’s a shame that in most places we seem to have forgotten this day’s history and we have failed to preserve it.

History of May Day Celebrations

According to Wikipedia, “May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on 1 May or the first Monday of May. It is an ancient festival of Spring[1] and a current traditional spring holiday in many European cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the festivities.”

Moving Forward

Let’s get back to dances, singing, and cake! Let’s reinstate the celebration of spring. Let’s recreate the May Pole. Let’s make it a part of our “new normal” once this VOVID-19 pandemic allows us to go back to our schools and hug our neighbors. What do you think?

I hope your day was a happy, memorable one.

What are your favorite May Day memories?

See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

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