Country Living : Do You Remember May Basket Day?
Back in simpler times, people rang in the first of May with a particularly charming and elegant tradition: According to a report by NPR, they would take all the flowers that they had gathered at the end of April’s showers, arrange them in pretty paper along with some gifts and candies, and then hang them on the doors of friends and neighbors as a way of welcoming them into warmer weather.
Of course, it was also a way of letting a romantic prospect know that you cared for her, as boys would often hang baskets on the doorknobs of the ladies they fancied.
Well, it is a fact that May Day, which the children do enjoy with all vibes, is not an overly prominent holiday in America. Yet, it does have a long and notable history as one of the world’s principal festivals. The origin of the May Day as a day for celebration dates back to the days, even before the birth of Christ. And like many ancient festivals it too has a Pagan connection.
Read more at http://www.theholidayspot.com/mayday/history.htm#EQrMqmYmGQ8jpKSp.99
Use brightly colored construction paper to make baskets by cutting the paper into triangle shapes. Roll the triangles into cone shaped baskets and glue or tape together, finish by adding a strip of construction paper to make a handle. Fill the basket with left over Easter grass, then add fresh flowers the children pick (even dandelions will do) or if you live in a cold climate, with no fresh flowers yet, cut pictures of flowers from magazines or gardening catalogs and glue them to toothpicks and arrange in the basket. Then have the child choose an elderly friend or relative to give their basket to.
May baskets evolved from an old tradition that involves gathering fresh flowers or placing small candies inside of a handmade basket. That basket is then hung on a neighbor’s door knob or left on the door step for its recipient to discover. The history of course, goes far deeper than that, but today we are talking baskets. One variation says that baskets were left on doorsteps, the door bell rang and the giver would run away. If the receiver could catch the giver, a kiss was to be exchanged.
From Sarah : Bobby first left me a May Day Basket in Kindergarten. It became a tradition that needed only when he died.
May basket of flowers from young children in 1938.
Library of Congress
Maybe there really was a time when America was more innocent.
Back when May Basket Day was a thing, perhaps.
The curious custom — still practiced in discrete pockets of the country — went something like this: As the month of April rolled to an end, people would begin gathering flowers and candies and other goodies to put in May baskets to hang on the doors of friends, neighbors and loved ones on May 1.