History tells us Mayday was a Pagan rite representing fertility of
man and woman as well as the earth. It was the day where choices of
life partners were made and revelry abounded. The Ancients built a
huge bonfire and jumped over the fire or passed through the fire for
good luck with spring planting. They even passed the livestock through
the fire for prosperity. My imagination runs wild whenever I think of
the old Mayday rites. Crowns of flowers and leaves adorning the heads
of men and women alike. All laughing and having fun welcoming the
warmth of spring. I see within my minds eye the men and women jumping
over the fire. Always wondering if anyone got singed in the fun. Of
course, they always left something for the fairies to eat so a pookah
would not show up on their doorstep and bring bad luck.
MayDay came with a flourish of preparations at my house. We were
preparing to celbrate the coming of summer with a festival. All week
was spent preparing for the big event. My husband spent the week
deciding what to use for a Maypole. Finally, he decided on a plastic
piping available at any hardware or home improvement store. Due to
time we were not able to dig a hole to place the pole in securely, so
we used a Christmas tree stand to hold the ten foot pole. It worked.
In order to get the ribbon on we had to tie it on top first then set
up the pole.
Everyone held their ribbons as the pole went up. It was a beautiful
site with ribbons stretching far. A stream of spring colors came
cascading down as the pole stood reaching to the dusky heavens. We
readied for the dance as the moon began to appear. Thirty of us
surrounded the pole with ribbons. Facing a partner ribbons in hand we
began the sideways dance of spring. Confusion reigned. We were
stepping left when we should have been stepping right, right when we
should have been stepping left. Through laughter we straightened
ourselves to begin again. A volunteer called out steps to left then
right. We still got confused, but still were able to weave a
wonderful Maypole full of spring colors, warmth, laughter, and love.
We tied the ribbon to the Maypole and cut any excess. Then we stood in
a circle and gave Blessings to one another for summer. Feasting came
after. Everyone brought something marvelous to eat. We chatted,
laughed, ate, and had a MayDay Celebration worthy of the Ancient's
Truly the Mayday celebration was poetry in motion. Weaving the moon,
spring colors, laughter, and love into one special night is made for
the poet in all of us. Next year the pole will be ready to weave again
over this years ribbon. I can hardly wait to weave another cycle and
celebrate the warm season to come.
My Mayday Blessing to you, dear readers, is to have a glorious
summer of warmth, happiness, and prosperity which, will carry you
through the dark months of winter.