Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day

when I was growing up it was common practice to do "May Baskets." Small, sometimes dixie cup sized, "baskets" filled with candy & a few treats. Maybe some flowers or something. No big deal, but it was fun. We used to deliver them to friends - ring the doorbell and run away.

I don't really know the origins of this tradition - I'm guessing English/German/Scandinavian...but in Austin it was done - do any other Austinites remember this? When I moved to LA people had NO IDEA what I was talking about. Likewise here in Duluth. My husband thinks it just sounds weird...like, duh, Easter Baskets (they are so very different).

One year, shortly after the Bogotts moved into their house by us, I found two small Easter baskets (or maybe it was just one, I don't remember) on our back patio. I will never forget how the melted chocolate looked on the goldfish cracker. I always remember that incident and think of Andrew running across the field between our houses to deposit it there. I'm glad I found the goods when I did!

I'd like Dahlia to have May baskets some day....if for no other reason that her Mommy did it once-upon-a-time. Maybe I can find some like-minded people in Duluth...maybe not...

8 comments:

donna said...

I've definitely heard of it before, but I've never lived anywhere that did it. I wish they did. It sounds like a lovely thing to do and so much fun. Maybe next May Day I'll start it up in my neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

we used to do that too. I was going to do it this year with my daughter but forgot to get the supplies. Next year she will be almost 3 so probably better activity than this year.

Sarita said...

We did it when I was a kid too. If I ever feel like I have some energy again, I will probably do it with Relia too.

Meigan said...

I've done it every year with the kids. This year was no exception - I think we were the only people in the state of WI, the way they went on about it. Gillian's teacher wrote a letter home about it to all the parents she was so excited...

Cute story about Andrew!

J. said...

I was trying to explain this to people here - not a tradition in Quebec for sure - you missed the best part though.....the chase and catch was what I remembered... Here's what I found on Wikepedia
Does the parade really happen in Mpls>

Americas

May Day festivities at National Park Seminary in Maryland, 1907.May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American continent. In some parts of the United States, May Baskets are made. These baskets are small and usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone's doorstep. The basket giver would ring the bell and run away. The person receiving the basket would try to catch the fleeing giver. If they caught the person, a kiss was to be exchanged.

Modern May Day ceremonies in the U.S. vary greatly from region to region and many unite both the holiday's "Green Root" (pagan) and "Red Root" (labor) traditions[6]. Among the largest is the May Day Parade and Pageant created by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, an event that has happened every year since 1975 in Minneapolis and now attracts some 35,000 people.

May 1 also is recognized in the U.S. as Law Day.

carrster said...

I think I have to do this next year with Dahlia.

I remember the catching/kissing part - but as a kid that didn't matter. I guess there was always that "threat" but I was too little for it to mean anything.

I'm sure by time I was old enough to know better I was giving May baskets to boys I wanted to be caught & kissed by! Ha! Fat Chance!!

carrster said...

OH and "Law Day" "Labor Day" blah blah blah - I would prefer to focus on the pagan shenanigans! Much more fun!!

Holly said...

I totally remember doing this! I'm going to have to do this with Claire next year and start the tradition with the neighbors. What fun!!

Tee hee, my word verification is bedless.