Sunday, May 3, 2015

Joyous May Day 2015

The winter was long and hard and we are limping to the finish line of this school year. 

For thousands of years when Spring was in full bloom the people would pause to celebrate the coming of the warm time and changing of the seasons.  May Day or Beltane as it is also known begins at sunset and continues through the next day.  This is a celebration of fertility and life.  It is a holiday of hope, beauty, and new beginnings. 


As a child in the USA I have memories of making May Day baskets filled with treats.  We would deliver them to neighbors by ringing their doorbell and then running away so that they would not know who left the goodies.  I have thought of this every May 1st since becoming a mother and decided this year I would introduce my children to this tradition.

The screech of the school bus’ brakes preceded little girl giggles that filled the air like music.  We celebrated the return of dirty bare feet on soft green grass.  White paper cups, a roll of twine, a hole puncher, crayons, and stickers would be used to create our May Day baskets.  M&Ms, Sweet Tarts, Life Saver gummies, and popcorn were the filling.  Alexander popped in for a moment or two for treats before going off to do his own thing. 


Traditionally the people would dance around a pole with ribbons woven in merriment signifying fertility.  Flowers, incense, feasting, and bonfires marked their celebration and ours.  Inspired from a scene in Alice in Wonderland, our Mad Hatter hat topped the pole which we secured in our umbrella stand wrapped in red, scrap fabric.  It turned out beautifully.

Neighbors shared long forgotten stories of their childhood May Day celebrations and I was dubbed the May Queen of Garrett Hill, which I quite like.  Our dinner was grilled and we feasted outdoors by candle light.  The last hours of the day were spent mesmerized by the dancing flame of our back yard mini bonfire and the sweet smell of vanilla incense smoldering on the log.  The girls fell asleep in the night air.  Only when the last of the embers had died out did their daddy carry them one by one to their beds, perhaps dreaming of magic and fairies.

A larger version of the video can be found HERE.

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