Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Happy May Day

European traditions included a ceremony of bringing in a tree from the woods.
Its branches were lopped off and it was wrapped with violets...all a tribute to the Roman god Attis (read more history here)

Generations later, the festivities included tying a pole with colorful ribbons or streamers, and dancing round.
Customs were carried over that included hanging May Baskets on the doorknobs of neighbors.

Sadly, one doesn't see many Maypoles in the United States anymore, but I love the tradition nevertheless.

Here are some vintage magazine illustrations:

New Yorker Magazine, 1949
Fence ad, 1929
Lifesavers candy ad,1947



Blogger Gina E. said...

That was an interesting post, Barb. We've never had any maypole dances here that I know of - probably because it is nearly winter here by that time, and the weather is not conducive to dancing around waving ribbons and streamers!
But I used to love reading about Mayday in my childhood story books which were all set in either the UK or the USA.

7:31 AM  

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