When I was a little girl, May Day was a big deal. My great aunt would come over, and we would make little baskets, decorate them with crepe paper, and fill them with treats. We would then leave them at our neighbors door, ring the doorbell and run away.
It’s been many years now, since I have celebrated this day. With the cultural climate we have now, I wonder how such things would be received. Leaving treats from unidentified sources would certainly not go well, and these baskets would most likely end up in the trash. We have many small children in our cul-de-sac, and I felt this might be a fun pastime to revive.
For the last few months, I’ve found myself wandering a pagan path, one who’s road is still very unclear. For some pagans, May Day is a holiday called Beltane, and there is a wealth of information about it on the Internet and in books, if you choose to read more. This is one piece that I will put here, as it speaks to the origins of the May basket from my childhood. Certainly this year, I will be celebrating May Day in some way or another. There are other great suggestions in this article for May Day celebrations. As for me, my garden is far to visible, and the one I love far away, so I think I’ll stick with baskets.
Also known as May Eve, May Day, and Walpurgis Night, happens at the beginning of May. It celebrates the height of Spring and the flowering of life. The Goddess manifests as the May Queen and Flora. The God emerges as the May King and Jack in the Green. The danced Maypole represents Their unity, with the pole itself being the God and the ribbons that encompass it, the Goddess. Colors are the Rainbow spectrum. Beltane is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight. Prepare a May basket by filling it with flowers and goodwill and then give it to someone in need of healing and caring, such as a shut-in or elderly friend. Form a wreath of freshly picked flowers, wear it in your hair, and feel yourself radiating joy and beauty. Dress in bright colors. Dance the Maypole and feel yourself balancing the Divine Female and Male within. On May Eve, bless your garden in the old way by making love with your lover in it. Make a wish as you jump a bonfire or candle flame for good luck. Welcome in the May at dawn with singing and dancing. http://www.circlesanctuary.org/pholidays/Beltane.html