It’s May Day, ya’ll


I’m watching Paula Deen on the boob tube as I blog.  Can you tell?


may day

May has always been a special month, dating to Eastside Elementary  in West Point, where we did the maypole dance on the first of May each year.  It was a very big deal.

Bringing in the May

In medieval England, people would celebrate the start of spring by going out to the country or woods—"going a-maying"—and gathering greenery and flowers, or "bringing in the may." This was described in "The Court of Love" (often attributed to Chaucer, but not actually written by him) in 1561:

And furth goth all the Court, both most and lest,
To feche the floures fressh, and braunche and blome;
And namly, hawthorn brought both page and grome.
With fressh garlandes, partie blewe and whyte,
And thaim rejoysen in their greet delyt.

(Who ever wrote it, couldn’t spell worth a darn.)

In the 19th century, people began to braid the maypole with ribbons by weaving in and out in the course of a dance. Other later traditions include making garlands for children and the crowning of the May Queen.

I don’t think anyone does the maypole dance any longer.  Pity. 

4 thoughts on “It’s May Day, ya’ll

  1. Emily, I also remember the May Day celebrations at East Side Elementary School! What fun we had:)

  2. I do remember those with Mrs. Elizabeth Chandler, right? Good times — good memories!!

  3. I loved the May Day celebration and remember it fondly! I can only remember participating once in the actual “dance”…..I guess it was when we were in 6th grade?

  4. Oh, I thought we did it every year, Ruthie and Olivia. Just remember the crepe paper streamers. Don’t remember Mrs. Chandler having a maypole. Was it at her house or did she come to the school? The good thing about growing older with friends, is that if we put our heads together we all remember different parts of the puzzle of our past.

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