Friday, April 30

Ready for May Day!

Today Toucie, Daddy and I went to the May Faire at our local Waldorf school.  What a beautiful way to extend the celebration of May Day...with a whole community of folks all dressed in festive spring finery and ready to frolick around a Maypole. There was lively flute/recorder music all morning long, sweet young voices piping out traditional songs, and oh, the dancing!

first graders dancing a simple Maypole dance

third graders doing something more complex...look at that awesome 'web' created in the ribbons

sixth graders do a sword dance involving much precise leaping over and climbing under each others' wooden swords while a jester taunts and teases them. There is dramatic drumming accompanying their dancing and near the end they huddle mysteriously in a circle then triumphantly thrust a star into the air made of all their swords woven together. They were even able to raise the jester aloft as he stood on one of their stars. Every year I see this same dance performed by the newest sixth grade group and it never ceases to move me...we all break into  thunderous applause, whistles, and cheering.

seventh grade Morris Dancers doing a symbolic banishing of winter with very complicated stick clacking and wonderfully noisy bells at their knees.

After all the students have performed their prepared dances, the community is invited to dance the Maypole...this is what we've been waiting for!!! Toucie was thrilled to participate. Daddy was pretty jazzed, too.

We shared a picnic an the lawn with friends, we paid our respects to the May Queen...another thrilling moment for Toucie...then we made our way home to begin preparations for tomorrow: May 1st!

For the last 15 years (omigoodness! can that be true??!!), wherever we have lived, we have made may baskets filled with flowers and left them on neighbors' doorknobs or mailboxes to be found on May Day morning. With all the big sisters away for the weekend, it was up to Toucie and me to make the may baskets on our own.

This year we used inexpensive plastic cups with long ribbon hangers (I used a woodburning tool to melt 2 holes in the top edge of each cup through which to string the ribbon). We filled them with pink roses, yellow tulips, and vinca vine from our yard. We made them for the neighbors directly across the street and the ones to either side of our home. Many of our neighbors are used to this ritual of ours, but this year we have one new neighbor...we are excited to surprise her :)

Another of our traditions is to place a handkerchief out to catch the early morning dew of May Day. In the morning we will  collect our hankies and bathe our faces in dew to make ourselves sweet for the whole year through. Toucie pinned hers to a holly bush so it wouldn't flutter away.

As soon as dusk fell (and Daddy came home from work) we snuck out to deliver our may baskets.

We live in a rural area and its a bit of a trot to get to each neighbor. We like to leave the may baskets hanging on their mailboxes in hopes that they will see them in the morning as they leave their homes.

After all our deliveries were made we went home to a hot, scented bath and deep sleep. After all, tomorrow is a big day!

Happy May Day to you all!


  1. What a beautiful May Day celebration and how wonderful your May Day Basket tradition is! I loved those sweet moments captured, like thief in the night :D

    How is your baby doing, btw? I assume home from the hospital and better xoxo

  2. Those flower baskets are such a beautiful tradition - what a wonderful idea to do this each year! I love the photos of the maypole dancing - we don't have anything like that over here in Australia. It looks so festive and 'springy':)