Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's May Day

Today is May Day, a holiday and tradition established before the birth of Christ and continuing today. The first celebrations were by the Druids in what is now Great Britain and were the second most important holiday. May 1 was the half-way point in their calendar year and on this day, they celebrated the festival of Beltane. When the Romans conquered the area, they brought with them their tradition of celebrating this day in honor the goddess of flowers, Flora. These two traditions merged and continued to change through the years.

Many people and cultures celebrate in different ways. The most well-known is probably the dancing of the May Pole which began by the Middle Ages. Other areas crown a May Queen. May garlands began as a way to designate the advent of spring and summer and were hung on door knobs.In my area, Pawleys Island, SC, the Girl Scouts and EYC would weave baskets out of construction paper and fill them with grass, flowers, and small bits of candy. On May Day, we would hang these baskets, without a note, on the door knobs of the elderly women and men in our area. I loved that tradition!


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  2. I love the Hanging the Basket of Flowers on the elderly's doorstep~wish it was still done. How beautiful.