Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!


So just what is all this fuss about Maypoles and dancing? At my elementary school, here in Massachusetts, we danced around a pole. The following is from ask.yahoo:

The origins of the May Pole lie forever hidden in an impenetrable mist of pagan rituals and pre-Christian history. Nevertheless, a few interesting facts have emerged from the darkness.

May poles were used in British fertility rites to usher in spring and ensure fecundity in crops and livestock. Villagers would go out into the forest, cut down an appropriately sized tree, and decorate it in the town square with ribbons and flowers.

The Britons may have inherited this festival from the Romans, who threw some legendary spring bashes of their own. The Romans ruled the British Isles well into the fifth century A.D. They celebrated Flora, the goddess of plants and flowers. These fertility rites fitted snugly with the agricultural rituals of the pre-Christian Britons.

In the sixteenth century, May poles were actually banned as heathenistic totems. In 1583 a fellow named Phillip Stubbs wrote disapprovingly of May poles, "But the chiefest jewel they bring from thence is their May-Pole, which they have bring home with great veneration And this being reared up...then fall they to daunce about it, like as the heathen people did at the dedication of the Idols."


So there you have it. I like the idea of May Baskets, though, they're so pretty! (Google photo)
Now, today is the last day to enter the New England Bloggers May Day Giveaway hosted by Elizabeth at Thoughts from an Evil Overlord. If you haven't seen my giveaway yet, go back to my Monday post this week and get the details.

Have a great weekend!

3 comments:

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Happy May Day!

What a LOVELY basket. I just love that moss tucked in the sides and bottom of that mini-basket!!!

Kate in NJ said...

It's raining here, so I won't be dancing around the May pole this year.lol

Dana said...

Hi Sue! That May pole pic is SO lovely and I love the hanging may day flower basket idea....hmmm, how to make that paper? My mind is whirling with the possibilities.. thanks for the inspiration!