Thursday, May 1, 2008

MAY DAY


The maypole is a tall wooden pole (traditionally of maple, hawthorn or birch), sometimes erected with several long colored ribbons suspended from the top, festooned with flowers, draped in greenery and strapped with large circular wreaths. It is usually a shorter, plainer maypole that people (usually school children) perform dances around, weaving the ribbons in and out to create striking patterns.

This beautiful little flower is know as 'muguet des bois' in France...or Lily of the Valley here in the US. May Day is celebrated in France by the giving and receiving of little bouquets or pots of this charming flower. The scent is heavenly! I actually remember having some "perfume" when I was a teenager that was called Muguet. The flowers are said to be the 'bringers of happiness' to whomever has them. Sort of a good luck charm. They are also frequently used in wedding flowers also.
Below is a vintage postcard from Paris that celebrates this custom.

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Whether you celebrate it or not...here's to a HAPPY MAY !!!

6 comments:

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

I wrote about May Day last year and many had not heard about taking May baskets around to friends.We did it every year when I was a kid. This year, however, it completely slipped my mind until I read about it here. Happy May Day, friend!

windycorner said...

When my children were little , we made little baskets to hang on the neighborhood friend's doors. They would ring the doorbell and run away. Such fun!
Holley

Marie said...

Your blog colors are so cheery and eye-catching! Thank you for making May Day a special event. I live in France and forgot to blog about the dainty little Muguet flowers! Good Job!

Musicaljean said...

I honestly never heard of that tradition, just the term May Day for May 1st. Thanks for all the interesting info!

LivingTheLife said...

I LOVE May 1...for May Day and mostly because it was the birth day of one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world...May 1st was my grandmother M's (my mom's mom) birthday. She was the most incredible woman I ever met...she was always happy, always kind, always sweet and always generous with not only her things but mostly of her time. She used to tell me wonderful stories about her childhood and living on an Indian Reservation (for a short time) she loved telling stories on her children, too...and she ALWAYS, ALWAYS made you feel like you were the only person in the world when you were with her...and all the while she was very sick, in a lot of pain, spent many years in a wheelchair and finally confined to bed completely BUT NEVER, EVER complained about her situation...NEVER!!...Why YES...May Day...just May be one of my favorite days!!

Blessings...
Teresa

Ang baylis said...

This are my FAVORITE flowers!
I have some about to come out... and I can't wait!

Hope you are well today!
Love you,
Angie xoxo