May Day - the halfway point to summer! Each year on May 1st we come together and make May Day baskets to celebrate what exactly? The halfway point to summer seems reason wnough however, it is also recognized as international workers day to commemorate the historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement.
May Day is rich in history and folklore, and while the day has different origins in different countries it is nonetheless a holiday to welcome the return of spring. May Day has its roots in astronomy as it is the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. This holiday is also known to be rooted in agriculture as fields started to sprout and cattle were driven to pastures for grazing. Meanwhile, the doors of houses and livestock were decorated with yellow May Flowers.
Later, these celebrations evolved into "bringing in May." People started gathering wildflowers and green branches for the weaving of floral garlands so, that a May king and queen could be crowned. Then a decorated May tree or Maypole was set up in which people danced around. These celebrations were intended to ensure fertility for crops and, by extension, for livestock and humans. In most recent cases this significance was gradually lost, but the practices survive as popular festivities.
7 ways to Celebrate May Day!
Light a bonfire
Gather around a fire with friends and roast marshmallows to commemorate one of the standard traditions of May Day. Symbolic fire was a practice thought to divide the year in half, between the light and dark to celebrate the return of life and fertility to the world.
Decorate the Front Door of Your House
Decorate your entryway with spring flowers to welcome warmer and happier months to come. Embellish your flowers with ribbons and bows to bring in positivity.
Gather wildflowers and green branches.
Don’t just stop at the front of your door but embrace the nature around you and decorate your home with arrangements from the things you can find outside.
Make a Flower Crown
Gather or purchase some flowers and greenery and weave it into a festive crown for the occasion. Artificial flowers that you have lying around is an option as well, this way your flowers won’t wilt.
Make and Dance around a Maypole
One of the most recognizable of all May Day traditions is the dance around the maypole celebration. The Maypole represents where the sky and the earth connect and where the four cardinal directions meet.
Go barefoot outside
May Day was traditionally the first day children went outside and were able to play barefoot. Why not join the tradition? Weather permitting of course!
Leave a May Basket for our Neighbors
Make a basket filled with treats or flowers or maybe even both and give secretly to friends and neighbors. It’s a great way to spread kindness and positivity. Maybe a new friendship can blossom too!
It is no secret that May Day is a great day to celebrate and appreciate the springtime and what better way to get outside. Spearfish is filled with outdoor adventure. Explore our page more and see what unique adventure fits you best!