May 1, 2014

Happy May Day!

The practice of anonymously giving paper cones of flowers on May 1 to neighbors and loved ones has a long history, stemming from the European pagan festival of spring, Beltane. Historically flowers were usually delivered by children to adults, an interesting switch since most gift-giving holidays are child-centered. It’s also an astronomical holiday, one of the year’s four cross-quarter days, or day that falls more or less midway between an equinox and solstice – in this case the March equinox and June solstice. The other cross-quarter days are Groundhog Day on February 2, Lammas on August 1 and Halloween on October 31.

 "The job now in hand was May baskets, for it was the custom of the children to hang them on the doors of their friends the night before May-day; and the girls had agreed to supply baskets if the boys would hunt for flowers, much the harder task of the two. Jill had more leisure as well as taste and skill than the other girls, so she amused herself with making a goodly store of pretty baskets of all shapes, sizes, and colors, quite confident that they would be filled, though not a flower had shown its head except a few hardy dandelions, and here and there a small cluster of saxifrage." Louisa May Alcott, from Jack and Jill.

 Share a little flower love today! -Kristi

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