Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Belated Anniversary Wishes and Happy May Day!

I didn't realize Will and Kate, the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, celebrated their second wedding anniversary on April 29th until I visited Miss Spenser's blog.   Two years have swiftly passed!  I vividly remember watching their royal wedding at Westminster Abbey on television, and seeing "the" Buckingham Palace balcony kiss.  Tea parties in their honor abounded on both sides of the pond!

First Anniversary

Cheers!  Wishing the royal couple many more wonderful years together!

Prince William and Kate had a romantic dinner in London on April 25th since William had to return to Wales to resume his duties as a search and rescue pilot on their actual anniversary date.  What did Kate do on their anniversary?  She attended a tea at Naomi House to mark Children's Hospice Week.  She is Patron of East Anglia Children's Hospices.

[Photos courtesy of Naomi House Facebook page]

Happy May Day!

May Day is an ancient spring festival that is celebrated in many countries in different ways.   When the pagan celebrations were Christianized, May Day became known for the traditions of dancing around a maypole, crowning a May Queen, and children anonymously leaving "May baskets" [filled with spring flowers and/or candy] on neighbor's doorknobs or steps on the eve of May Day.  After ringing the doorbell they quickly fled so they wouldn't be seen.  

In the 19th century, people began to decorate maypoles with brightly colored ribbons or paper streamers.  As they danced and sang around the pole, they held the ends of the ribbons or streamers in their hands, until the pole was completely wrapped, which ended the dance.

Below is a photo of Maypole dancing at Bryn Mawr College, a women's liberal arts college near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where May Day festivities are an annual tradition.

While May Day is a national holiday in many countries, it's not in the United States, except for Hawaii, where it's known as "Lei Day."  The Pilgrims brought May Day traditions to America, but Puritans were quick to condemn them.  Consequently, it has never been celebrated in this country with the same enthusiasm as in other countries.

Louisa  May Alcott wrote about handing out May Day baskets in her book, Jack and Jill.   Though the practice has waned considerably today, some feel the tradition was good because it taught children about anonymous giving.  Reciprocity was not expected, and it was a chance for them to give to grownups, instead of the other way around.  On almost every other holiday, children are the primary recipients, so they don't experience the joy of  giving. Unfortunately, most children in the U.S. today don't know anything about May Day.

Did you celebrate festive May Day traditions when you were growing up?

[Internet photo]


  1. Yes, as youngsters we always left flowers on doorsteps of our lady relatives. We lived in the country and mom usually drove us around to their homes. She would stop down the road so we could sneak up to drop them on the doorstep, ring the bell and run like crazy. I did carry on the tradition when my children were young. I plan to visit a few friends in the nursing home this afternoon. I will pack a few cones of flowers to slip in my purse and hang on their doorknob on the way out.
    Sips and Smiles,

  2. Happy May Day! I do remember learning about the Maypoles and other May Day traditions as I was growing up, and I think maybe one year in Girl Scouts we actually danced around a Maypole. But I'm not could be that I just wanted to do that after reading about it. Anyway, I wish you many unexpected blessings today and every day!

  3. Happy May Day! Loved your post... full of photos and fun info!

  4. Happy May Day, Phyllis! In grade school we always made a basket, usually a paper cone, and I would fill it with flowers (violets, dandelions, etc.) that I could find on my walk home from school to give my Mom. We always had daffodils and tulips growing around my home so I would include those when I got home. Lots of good memories. I still do this for my Mom. I also danced around the Maypole one year at school. Very interesting information about the occasion. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Happy May Day, Phyllis! And thanks for reminding me that two years ago, I was happily hosting a Royal Wedding Tea!

  6. I was the recipient of May Day flowers yesterday. I was in the driveway unpacking the car from a conference and heard the doorbell ring. By the time I was walked to the front door to find daffodils on the doormat, the 3 girls were jogging down the sidewalk. It was a fun treat!

  7. I love May Day celebrations. I remember as a child dancing at the May pole. Both of my children were born on May Day and friends, when they were little, would leave little gifts in baskets at our door. It is a very special day in our family.

  8. nice pic of a Belated Anniversary Wishes and Happy May Day.


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