Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bringing Back May Day

Whatever happened to the May Day we celebrated as little kids in elementary school? I'm probably dating myself by saying this. But have you ever celebrated May Day?

I have vague memories of twirling around a Maypole in the school gym to the tune of ‘The Entertainer’ (?) and wearing flowers in my hair. But that’s as far as it went. I think it might have been a big holiday somewhere else – maybe Europe. All I heard about it on the news today was there were rallies and protests for one cause or another taking place.

Being the champion of lost holiday’s that I am, I decided to do a little digging into May Day and what it was all about. It seems it get’s it’s origin from several different places. Some of those traditions are very pagan so of course I’ll have to not follow certain specific traditions. You won’t find me as going off into the fields or woods and invoking the blessings of fertility on me and my special someone. Sorry, as you can tell from my own little herd I don’t need any extra fertility - Thank you very much. But the Bonfire the night before might be fun – to bad it’s usually raining bucket’s this time of year.

Not finding too much online I decided to just make what-ever I wanted to celebrate our own version of May Day. So we made some flower hair wreaths for the girls and took flower baskets to the neighbors to thank them for putting up with our rowdy and crazy shenanigans for the past umpteen years.

Here’s how we made the flower hair thingy’s. And an added bonus is that 100% of our supplies we acquired at our favorite $1 store.

Supplies needed - Pipe cleaners, fake flowers or even Hawaiian flower leas, and various sizes of ribbon. And don't forget the Scissors.

For a child's hair wreath you will most likely use 2 pipe cleaners, 3 for an adults.

Fasten two ends together wrapping them tightly so that you can still string the flowers over them.

Then you'll want to totally dismantle the flowers. If you'll notice they flowers already have a convenient hole in them. Well your going to want to grab some Skizzor's (as my kids affectionately refer to scissors) and make an additional hole next to the one already there.

Then thread them on your good old pipe cleaners...

And smoosh them together...

When you have almost filled your pipe cleaner up you can then start adding some ribbon streamers. For the large ribbon's you want to make some holes in the top in which to put the pipe cleaner through.

Smaller ribbons you just loop on like this.

Twist the pipe cleaners together and Ta-Da!
All done! It takes between 20 - 30 minutes per wreath.

Don't have the time or patience? Well then here is a Total shortcut...Or you could totally do it the easy way and break the string of an Hawaiian lea - I know this sounds odd but shorten the lae by making it a couple inches longer than it would need to be to go around your child's head. Tie it back together and add some streamers and BOING - you've done it again. Been really crafty on the cheap and made your little girly's feel like a fairy queen.

Traditionally you take the baskets of flowers and goodies to friends and family and leave it on their door the night before May 1st (sometime after the bonfire - I guess). We were a bit late so we took it around today. Of course we couldn't find appropriate shoes, or even matching ones for that matter, but the neighbors are used to our fashion statements. Evo-man decided socks would do just fine. Unfortunately the socks didn't fare so well. Lea and Princess did just fine with bare feet. And Hope out ran them all.

Don't you just love how we react to that glowing ball of gas. Squint, Squint.

So no, we didn't participate in any rally's or complain how things just need to be changed. Instead we went out and did something to make someone else feel a little bit better. How much better would the world be if we stopped complaining and just did something nice for someone else, and showed our appreciation to those around us?

Next year we are bringing back the Maypole!!! and maybe the bonfire... if it's not raining buckets that is.


Kiwi said...

I remember celebrating May Day in elementary school too. And seeing those flower wreaths really brings me back to childhood. My mom used to always make those for my friends and me. She would use a glue gun instead of stringing them. I should make one for Alina.

Trena Doll said...

I remember the may-pole (which felt more like a playground game than a dance) and the way the pretty ribbons made a cool braided pattern on the pole when we did it right...but the only flower wreath I ever got was in 4th grade when the school did a folk-dance festival and we had to perform at the community rec center...I loved wearing all those flowers & ribbons, but the dancing - not so much.

rkimedes said...

I remember seeing pictures of Maypoles and thinking it would be really cool to do one, but my school wasn't into such things :-(

My mom used to tell me about Maypoles, though.