May Day, celebrated on the 1st of May, is a years-old tradition that many historians consider to be of European descent, but may also be traced back to Rome, where they celebrated “Floralia” or the Festival of Flora. Flora was the Roman Goddess of flowers and the ancient Romans held festivities in her honor from April 27 - May 3.
In Europe, modern day May Day is a Festival of Spring where dancing (ever danced around a May Pole?), singing, and cake are a big part of the celebration. The European settlers brought their May Day traditions to many parts of the United States, and you’ll find children especially still celebrate today.
One of the lasting traditions here in the US are May Baskets. Small baskets filled with flowers and sometimes sweets and left at the door of a family member or neighbor. History tells us that the baskets used to be left and a doorbell rung before the giver scampered away. I think the idea of leaving an anonymous basket of cheer to brighten someone’s day, still resonates today.
Whether you leave some pretty posies unannounced or bring a basket of sweet treats to a friend, I’ll leave you with some DIY ideas for making your own May Day Basket.