In many cultures, May 1st is a holiday called May Day. This celebration marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. As with many early holidays, May Day was rooted in agriculture. Springtime festivities filled with song and dance celebrated the sown fields starting to sprout. Cattle were driven to pasture and special bonfires were lit while the entire town came together to dance and celebrate. If you’d like to celebrate this year, here are a few simple ways to participate in the festivities.
Bring In Flowers. Flowers are an important part of decorating for and celebrating May Day in many cultures, including England, Hawaii, Ireland, and Greece. The most common aspect of modern May Day celebrations is the preparation of a flower wreath from wildflowers, although many now simply buy wreaths from flower shops. Go out and pick wildflowers, or buy a bouquet of flowers, and bring them into your home to easily celebrate the holiday.
Embrace Nature. In various communities, May Day dew was believed to bring beauty and youthfulness. People would collect it first thing in the morning and wash their face with it. Children would go barefoot on May Day for the first time to celebrate the warm weather. Though you might not choose to go quite as far as these traditions, you can find ways to get outside and embrace the warm weather. Go for a bike ride, go hiking, spend time in your garden, do whatever makes you feel happy and connected to nature.
Make a May Basket. In the past, a May Day tradition was to leave a paper basket or cone containing spring flowers and sweets on another’s doorstep, usually anonymously. This tradition was popular through the 19th and 20th centuries, especially with children or sweethearts. To make a simple May basket, fold a piece of colored paper into the shape of a cone then fill it with wildflowers! You could also fill a real basket with little gifts such as flower seed packets, baked cookies, or candies and give it to someone you love.
May Day heralds in even warmer weather, an infusion of colors and flowers, and a stirring of life and renewal. Take some time today to embrace the energy and excitement of being halfway between the beginning of spring and the start of summer. How do you plan to celebrate and enjoy the day?