Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Longing for an old-fashioned May Day

As a child, May 1st had a lot different meaning than it does now. There is quite a hullabaloo surrounding May Day in 2012: 

The anniversary of Bin Laden's death....

Image from netglimpse.com

....the traditional worker's rights protests.....
Image from ibtimes.com 

.....and the Occupy movement's hope that their protest to support the 99% will be revitalized. 
Portland, Oregon May Day protests
Image from katu.com

I think back to a time when I didn't know about all that stuff.

Sometimes at school we would have a Maypole, where children gathered around a tall pole that had ribbons attached to the top. Each child would grab a ribbon and they would dance around the pole in one direction until all the ribbons would be wrapped around the pole, and then they would reverse direction and dance the other way so the ribbons unwound. It is a very old traditional folk dance in many countries, including England. 

Another tradition we had on May Day was to make little paper cones, stick candy and flowers in them, hooking them onto our neighbors' doorknobs, and then running away so it was a mysterious surprise who left the gift!  


The cones are easy to make- restart an old tradition in your family.

You need:

  • Pieces of paper (1 per cone) either solid construction paper, cardstock or scrapbook paper. 12" by 12" works the best, but you can make any size work.
  • Scissors
  • Clear scotch tape
  • Stapler
  • Little candies (optional)
  • Flowers from your garden
  • Plastic bag
  • Rubber band 
  • Paper towels or napkins

Cut a 1" wide piece off one side of the paper with the scissors for the handle and set aside.

Roll the rest of the paper into a cone, making the bottom hole as small as possible. You can staple or tape the top, and you will have to tape the bottom to keep the cone shape. 

Staple the handle ends into the cone so the tall edge is at the back (to support flowers) making sure the ends are stapled to the inside of the cone to look nice.

Dampen the paper towels or napkins in water, then wrap them around the flowers' stems. (Make sure the flower stems aren't too long so the stems can sit in the cone and not be so heavy and long that they fall out.) Put the plastic bag around the bottom of the flower stems to keep the water from leaking and wrap the rubber band around the top of the plastic bag to keep it in place.

Stick a few wrapped candies into the bottom of the cone (if you want- can leave out) and then stick the flowers in. 

Sneak over to a neighbor's porch and stick the May basket onto the doorknob. Ring the doorbell and run! 

Always nostalgic for childhood. Happy May Day!
Beehive and flowers vintage hat from aVelvetLeaf.etsy.com

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