Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day

May 1st. May Day. The holiday when people hang flower baskets on their neighbors' doors. I've always wanted to do that, but I never really knew what May Day was about. Apparently it's about a lot of different things that all happen to fall on the same day {poor planning on someone's part}. Here are two of them:


Beltane was a Celtic calendar feast ushering in the start of summer.

Bonfires were common features of Beltane celebrations. Related rituals included driving cattle between two fires, dancing around the fires, and burning witches in effigy. Another tradition was Beltane cakes, which would be broken into several pieces, one of which was blackened. They would be drawn by celebrants at random; the person getting the unlucky blackened piece would face a mock execution.

Bringing in the May

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."

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.

And that just gave me an idea. In honor of the neat holidays for May Day, let's crown a Blog May Queen/King. We all have our favorite blogs and bloggers, how about nominating some for the crown?

I'll take all the nominations and post about them, maybe even have some guest posts. At the end of May I'll put up a poll and let everyone vote. The winner will get a "May Queen/King" award :)

What do you think? Yea? Nay? Pass the word around and let your followers know. Maybe someone will nominate you! :)


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