Flimsy Sanity: Happy May Day

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy May Day

I became interested in Maypoles because I remember May Day and Maypoles as a celebration for my birthday, May 1st. As a young child I really thought that was why we were celebrating! I remember that the pole was in the school yard and the colorful crepe paper ribbons were attached to the top. The boys would have a ribbon and walk to the right, the girls would take a ribbon and walk left. The boys and girls would walk in opposite directions holding the ribbons taut. As the children met, we would alternate by going under the ribbon of the first boy then go over the ribbon of the next boy (the boys would reverse the pattern) and so on. This up and down or in and out movement would create a weaving pattern (tabby weave) down the pole as the ribbons got shorter and shorter. I'm not positive, but I think there was an odd number of either boys or an odd number of girls in order to create the weave. It was almost like a dance because we moved to music. The winding of the Maypole was a traditional activity every year that the whole school participated in to welcome spring. Also, when I was young we made May baskets out of squares cut from left over wall paper--rolling them into cone shapes, adding a handle, then filling the baskets with handpicked flowers. That evening we would hang them on our friends' doors (usually older seniors), ring the door bell or knock, then run and hide and watch them find the flowers from our hiding places. I have very fond childhood memories of May Day.

This reminescince came from Maypole Dance Post Cards along with some irritating music. Too bad some nice gentle things have been replaced by solitary TV and computer screen addictions. I wonder if the reason we quit celebrating May Day was because it was a Communist holiday also.


  • At 6:08 PM, Anonymous R J Adams said…

    It's celebrated in Britain, and became a national holiday only in the last few years.


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