May Day with Dr. Carolyn Robinson
By Dr. Carolyn O. Robinson
The earliest know May Day celebrations appeared with the Floralia or festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. It was held from April 27 to May 3 during the Roman Republic Era. Many variations of May Day have occurred since, in a variety of cultures, and celebrating a variety of spring related events.
The best known modern day May Day traditions observed in Europe and North America include dancing around the maypole and the giving of “May Baskets” – small baskets of sweets and / or flowers, usually left anonymously on friends and neighbors’ doorsteps.
As a child my memories of May Day were formed by my grandmother who helped us to make may baskets out of construction paper. We would then scour the fields and woods of her farm to find wildflowers to fill our baskets. Great care was taken to fill each basket for the friends they were to be given to. My sisters and I enjoyed leaving these baskets anonymously.
As an adult, each spring I traipse through wooded areas in April and May to find the beautiful wildflowers that I remember as a child. These photos are some that I have seen in the last 2 weeks.
I encourage all of you to get out and look for your own spring wildflowers. (We certainly have the time) Maybe you can start your own spring memories by collecting and sharing your discoveries.
Dr. Carolyn Robinson