Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Preparing for May Day

The first day of the month of May is known as May Day. It is the time of year when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees start to blossom. It is said to be a time of love and romance. It is when people celebrate the coming of summer with lots of different customs that are expressions of joy and hope after a long winter.
Traditional English May Day celebrations include Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen and dancing around a Maypole.
Although summer does not officially begin until June, May Day marks its beginning. May Day celebrations have their origins in the Roman festival of Flora, goddess of fruit and flowers, which marked the beginning of summer. It was held annually from April 28th to May 3rd. As a Christian family, we use it to talk about how the Lord changes the seasons & the wonders of his creation.

We began our preparations this afternoon, by making our 'May Crowns'
I followed the directions in Earthways.

You will need:
- light spring colours, about 1 meter in length for each child.
We used 3/4 " grosgrain. Gorsgrain is easier for little ones to handle than satin.
Tissue paper - again, choose light spring time colours.
Cut into strips 2" x 5"
Needles & thread

What to do
Give each child a ribbon to fit their head (dint forget to add another few inches for the knot & streamers.)
Also, give each child a needle with about 12 " of doubled thread.
Bring the needle up through the ribbon about 7 " in from the end to allow space for knotting & streamers. This also puts the knot on the back side of the ribbon.
Have the children choose a strip of tissue & sew a running stitch down the centre of it, scrunching as they go. Then gather this 'blossom' by pushing the tissue down to the end of the thread. Tack the blossom onto the ribbon by sewing down through the blossom & the ribbon & then up through the ribbon again, so the needle is now on top of the ribbon, ready to stitch another tissue blossom.
When the ribbon is full of blossoms, except for the know & streamer allowance at each end, tie it around the maker's head & marvel at what a beautiful thing they have created :)

We also will be making Salt Dough May baskets & a magnificent May Day Cake (lemon flavoured - delicious!)

We happen to be going for a lovely nature walk on Friday morning - hopefully with a water theme :)
Do you have May Day plans?


Summer said...

Great idea! I have never thought of celebrating May Day - but now I'm going to go make some plans!

Lynn said...

Thank you Summer, Please do share your fun.

Jeanne said...

Your beautiful May princesses look gorgeous in their crowns!!

Summer said...

We decided to make May Baskets. Here's a link to our blog:
How was your lemon flavored May Day cake? That sounds like something I'd like to try to make. . .if it's not too tricky!

Leah said...

Such a lovely idea Lynn - SO creative as usual; what precious memories for you and your girls.