I have often wished that we could celebrate May Day properly with a May Pole, but every time we have known of a place that was hosting such a celebration, the event was ridiculously crowded. Then May Day became associated with protests and riots in Seattle, so it just started to seem best to stay close to home on May Day and keep things simple.
Then one day, I saw a photo online of a beautiful May Day paper cone filled with flowers, so I decided to do some research. I found this article about May Day baskets, which explained the tradition.
A reporter in the Sterling, Ill., Gazette in 1871 explained the seasonal ritual this way: “A May-basket is — well, I hardly know how to describe it; but ’tis something to be hung on a door. Made of paper generally, it contains almost anything, by way of small presents you have in mind to put in it, together with your respects, best wishes — love, perhaps. It is hung after dark at the door of anybody the hanger fancies. — Which done, the said hanger knocks and scampers.”
I thought the idea was such a nice and simple way to celebrate May Day, so Sola and I decided last year to make some simple paper cone May Day “baskets” and deliver them to our neighbors.
Unfortunately, we had to buy flowers from the store, because Sola had sacrificed all of our flowers to her fairy gardens.
We used the wet paper towel/foil method of keeping the flowers fresh that my mother always used when she brought roses from her garden to friends or neighbors.
Our neighbors enjoyed the surprise and we found delivering the “baskets” to be a nice way to celebrate the beauty of this time of year, when the flowers are beginning to bloom, the bees are buzzing, the birds are singing while they go about their job of nesting, and the days are getting brighter and longer.
Have you ever celebrated May Day? If so, how?