Sunday, May 2, 2010

May Day

Wonder of did not rain once throughout Dolly's visit.  We watched Calvin Borel win his third Kentucky Derby, followed by NASCAR, and we talked and talked.  I asked her if she had done anything special as a kid in Pennsylvania for May Day, the first of May.  Giving it some thought, she said, "Yes, we had a May pole at school."  I did too, here in California.  It is a long-gone tradition, I fear, but it was fun and really beautiful.  A tall pole was erected with many long, multicolored ribbons attached at the top.  Children would form a ring away from the base, each holding a ribbon, and the girls would skip one way, the boys the other, and the ribbons would braid all the way down the pole as the circle of children got smaller and smaller.  I'm sure there was some song, too, but I've forgotten that part.  My mother had another May Day tradition.  She and I would make tiny baskets with handles from construction paper and that white library paste that every kid at that time tasted at least once.  These baskets were filled with little flowers from the garden, and I would take them to the neighbors' houses, hang the May basket on the front door handle, ring the bell and run away.  These were probably some pagan rituals from the dim past, but they were lovely ways to welcome spring. 


Kathryn said...

I'm back from my cruise to Mexico, where it didn't rain once, but returning "sea days" were way too cool to be on deck. With that said, we talked about May Day during dinner, and even tho I was 7 years behind you in school, I, too, did the May Basket ritual with the doorbell and the fast exit. Can't remember if we had ribbons on a pole or if I just remember hearing about it...but it certainly was alive and well in the San Gabriel Valley in the 50s! (And I've enjoyed catching up with life at Farview Farm!)

Linda Cox said...

Well - flagpoles and flowers are ONE way to celebrate when you are a wee one - May Day is much more fun to celebrate when you're older!