Now we go round the Maypole high, Maypole high, Maypole high
Now we go round the Maypole high,
Let colored ribbons fly.
See lasses and lads go tripping by,
Tripping by, tripping by,
See lasses and lads go tripping by
Let colored ribbons fly
Tonight we are celebrating the third Sunday in Eastertide, and the delight of May Day is upon us tomorrow!
There are so many beautiful traditions associated with May Day, and it is sure to be a festival your family will enjoy. Festivals involve the outer doing for children. In this case, we could:
- Have a real Maypole and a Maypole dance. Some traditional songs include “Now We Go Round the Maypole High” and “May Song” (Which begins: “Here’s a branch of snowy may, a branch the fairies gave me/Who would like to dance today with the branch the fairies gave me?”)
- Make simple ribbon and bell anklets for the girls to wear in dancing the Maypole, and flower crowns
- Make Mayday baskets of little paper cones with flowers in them for your neighbors or community helpers. Alternatively, you could press flowers and make little May Day cards.
- Tell stories! Possibilities include, “The Piper Who Knew But One Tune,” found in the book, “Celebrating Irish Festivals,” by Ruth Marshall or “Little Grey Rabbit’s May Day” by Alison Uttley
- Play ring games such as “Nuts in May,” ball games, and sack races
- Pick medicinal herbs and dry them.
- Sing songs and do fingerplays about the cuckoo bird
- Have a picnic lunch outside!
- Make tissue paper flowers
- Decorate your home with wreaths, garlands, and ribbons. This is a tradition from England.
- Serve a May Day cake after dinner.
- There are directions for a Mayday decoration on page 88 of the book, “All Year Round.”
The inner work of the adult:
May Day was celebrated as freedom and exuberance of summer, and in the book, “All Year Round,” the authors state it is a time of promise for the farmer, the young people weaving around the May Pole, the young girl washing her face in the morning dew. Authors Druitt, Fynes, and Rowling write in “All Year Round,” (page 85): “In most years, May 1st falls between Easter and Ascension. In the forty days after Easter, the teaching of the Risen Christ gave the disciples glimpses of the Divine Pattern woven by the events of Holy Week. By Ascension, these glimpses were only a memory, but the promise to His followers remained as their consolation – the promise, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20).
Perhaps the inner work of the adult is to find the promise and hope within ourselves.
Have a beautiful May Day! A final lovely thought:
In many lands the children bring
May Baskets for the first of spring,
And hang them on a neighbor’s door
To say that spring is here once more.
Many blessings in your celebrations,