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As we Celebrate May Day
Sammy and his Mommie
The History of May Day:
The tradition of the ancient Roman and Druid holiday of May Day has endured for centuries. It has been a celebration of spring turning into the pleasures of summer. Traditionally, a "Maypole" was the focus of the festivals. Even today the Maypole is used in the replications of old-time festivals. The Maypole is a tall pole in which ribbons are woven around by groups of dancers to make unique designs and patterns.
Gathering flowers and branches became a tradition and "bringing in the May" became a popular activity on May 1. The giving of baskets became part of the festivities later in the evolution of May Day. Today baskets are often made by little children, filled with candy or flowers and then placed on people's doorsteps or tied to the door handle, as they ring the doorbell and dash away before they are caught. You can participate in this activity yourself by making a special May Day basket or using any small basket to fill with flowers to give to a friend.
Fill a small basket with freshly gathered Spring blossoms. Tuck a small vase or something that will hold water into the bottom of the basket and fill the basket with a selection of flowers. Tie a bow or ribbon streamers onto the handle and fasten it to the door handle of a friend.
In medieval England, people would celebrate the start of spring by going out to the country or woods?"going a-maying"?and gathering greenery and flowers, or "bringing in the may." This was described in "The Court of Love" (often attributed to Chaucer, but not actually written by him) in 1561:
And furth goth all the Court, both most and lest,
To feche the floures fressh, and braunche and blome;
And namly, hawthorn brought both page and grome.
With fressh garlandes, partie blewe and whyte,
And thaim rejoysen in their greet delyt.
Another English tradition is the maypole. Some towns had permanent maypoles that would stay up all year; others put up a new one each May. In any event, the pole would be hung with greenery and ribbons, brightly painted, and otherwise decorated, and served as a central point for the festivities.
May Day was also a time for morris dancing and other dances, often around the maypole. In the 19th century, people began to braid the maypole with ribbons by weaving in and out in the course of a dance. Other later traditions include making garlands for children and the crowning of the May Queen.
Here is a
May Day Poem we found:
Come, let us go, while we are in our prime,
And take the harmless folly of the time!
We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty.
Our life is short, and our days run
As fast away as does the sun.
And, as a vapor or a drop of rain,
Once lost, can ne'er be found again,
So when you or I are made
A fable, song, or fleeting shade,
All love, all liking, all delight
Lies drowned with us in endless night.
Then while time serves and we are but playing,
Come, my love, come, let's go a-Maying.
Here is our Navigation Bar to get around our site:
Here are some photos of us :
Here is a cute new photo of Sammy!! Cute, huh?
Here are the words to the May Day song....
See our Maypole filled with flowers,
From above, the blossoms tower,
Fragrance rich, and perfume rare,
Pretty scents that fill the air.
Violets blue and daisies white,
You are here for our delight;
Daffodils and roses, too,
Pretty flow'rs for me and you!
Tell us what the flowers say,
As we sing and dance and play.
Tell us what the flowers say,
On this special day!
This is what the flowers say,
As we sing and dance and play.
This is what the flowers say:
It is bright May day!
Happy May Day - May 1st, 2014
More History of May day and Information
May Day is a time to celebrate the onset of May, the month that sees the Earth reaching
itself ready to burgeon to its maximum capacity. Since the ancient days in England there
prevailed a custom of "bringing in the May" on MayDay. This was why people would go to
the woods in the early dawn. There they picked flowers and lopped off tender branches to
bring them in and decorate the houses.
May Day and flowers:
It has always been strongly associated with flowers. Partly may be because of their availability abundance. But that is not all. There are other reasons as well.
For instance, the May Garland and beggar girls.
Making garland is one of those ancient May Day customs that has survived still today. May garlands, is meant for the coming of summer. May garlands were also used while begging by
the kids from door to door. At other times of the year begging would have been an offence.
But if it was done at May time with a garland. This is why groups of small girls, crowned
with leaves and flowers, went from door to door singing and begging.
On the first day of May, English villagers woke up at daybreak to roam the countryside gathering blossoming flowers and branches. A towering maypole was set up on the village green. This pole, usually made of the trunk of a tall birch tree, was decorated with bright field flowers. The villagers then danced and sang around the maypole, accompanied by a piper.
Also part of the celebration was the crowning of a May Queen. When the sun rose, the maypole was decked with leaves, flowers and ribbons while dancing and singing went on around it. The Queen was chosen from the pretty girls of the village to reign over the May Day festivities. Crowned on a flower-covered throne, she was drawn in a decorated cart by young men or her maids of honor to the village green. She would be crowned there right on the green spot. She was set in an arbor of flowers and often the dancing was performed around her, rather than around the Maypole.
Another colorful feature of the this celebration was the energetic Morris dance. Groups of men dance together in costumes of traditional characters, often animal-men, in ceremonial folk dances. The central figure of the dances, usually an animal-man, varies considerably in importance. The name Morris is also associated with the horn dance held each year at Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, England. This dance-procession includes six animal-men bearing deer antlers, three white and three black sets; a man-woman, or Maid Marian, and a fool.
These dances are still performed in England. And also survive in various parts of Europe, Asia, and, America. One such comparable surviving animal custom is the May Day procession of a man-horse, notably at Padstow, Cornwall. There, the central figure, "Oss Oss," is a witch doctor disguised as a horse and wearing a medicine mask. The dancers are attendants who sing the May Day song, beat drums, and in turn act the horse or dance in attendance. The name Morris is also associated with groups of mummers who act, rather than dance, the death-and-survival rite at the turn of the year.
Throughout history, the Morris seems to have been common. It was imported from village festivities into popular entertainment after the invention of the court masque by Henry VIII. The word Morris apparently derived from "morisco," meaning "Moorish." Cecil Sharp, whose collecting of Morris dances preserved many from extinction, suggested that it might have arisen from the dancers' blacking their faces as part of the necessary ritual disguise. The name Morris dance is sometimes loosely applied to sword dances in which a group of men weave their swords into intricate patterns.
Facewashing in May Dew:
Washing the face with May dew was yet another custom. There was a belief among the women in Great Britain and other parts of Europe those days that May Day dew has the power to restore beauty. This why in the Ozark Mountains, a cradle of American folklore, girls used to nurture a belief that having their faces washed with the early dawn dews on the May Day would help to be married to the man of her choice.