|April showers have|
bought May flowers,
pink petunias here
Each year from kindergarten through second grade, I remember weaving a basket out of strips of colored construction paper and then plucking wildflowers on the way home to fill the basket. At least, I truly hope they were wildflowers and not from someone’s garden. The idea was to give the basket to my mom as a surprise. I placed it on the welcome mat, knocked, and ran around the house's corner. As if my mom wouldn’t know who’d left the lopsided paper basket filled with weeds. Yeah, I was a pretty dumb kid, but she always played along and pretended to be surprised and wonder aloud who could have left such a nice basket and flowers..That was when we lived in Southern California. I don’t remember doing more than making a card when we moved back to Texas. I suppose May 1st is too close to Mother's Day to merit much craft project time after kids leave primary grades.
Maypole dancing is ancient, but there's a lot of discord over just how old. The church of St. Andrew Undershaft in the City of London is named after the maypole that was kept under its eaves and set up each spring until 1517 when student riots put an end to the custom. The maypole itself survived until 1547 when a Puritan mob seized and destroyed it as a "pagan idol".
According to Wikipedia, here’s the way the real Maypole works.
Dancers perform circle dances around a tall pole that is dressed with garlands, painted stripes, flowers, flags and other emblems. The circular dance is regarded as the most common and ancient form and is thought by some to have Germanic pagan fertility symbolism, although there is a lack of evidence to support this. The circular dance is traditionally performed in the spring around the festival of May Day, but in Sweden it is during the midsummer festivities.
|Dancing around the Maypole at|
Barwick-in-Elmet, Yorkshire, England
Both dance forms can be seen on the same day at the triennial maypole festival held in the village of Barwick-in-Elmet, West Yorkshire. Children of the village school perform a ribbon dance around a small maypole, and later a group of Morris dancers perform a circle dance around the main maypole.
If anyone does a Maypole dance locally, I’m unaware of it. Maybe at Scarborough Faire, but I am unsure.o I suppose that is another tradition slipping away. Not that it’s good or bad, it just seems today’s kids get cheated. Video games are fun and educational in some ways, but they don’t teach tradition or personal interaction. But I digress.
Here are some English children and their Maypole dance for you to enjoy. They were in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, England in 2008.
I hope May is a merry month for you. Even without a Maypole, you can do a little happy dance that May is here.
Thanks for stopping by!