A new month is nearly here. And in Shady Pines Story Town that means new opportunities for fun and kindness. Some May Day traditions date back hundreds – even thousands – of years.
And you know what? They’re still joyous and magical today.
Dancing ’round the Maypole to music is one of the oldest traditions still celebrated. It was the British who brought this idea to Colonial America when they settled here.
Dancing and Singing ‘Round the Maypole
Originally this celebration of Springtime meant the Maypole was a tree or tree trunk. Colorful ribbons were attached to it. The dancers would go ’round and ’round the Maypole.
These days the ribbon-weaving dancers are usually pairs of boys and girls (with girls taking one color of ribbons and boys the other). Sometimes it’s a group of multiple ages where younger dancers take the inside of the circle and older dancers the outside.
Either way, the maypole itself is supposed to be a delightful reminder that the cold days of winter are behind us and spring has sprung. This tradition is also about celebrating the love of friends, family and community.
Since we are all about that in our close knit, small Southern town, this weekend we’ll have a Maypole set up in Stonewall Park next to the Gazebo. And there’ll be musicians playing folk music.
Kids and their parents can join in the dancing. Afterwards we’ll have a giant picnic and free rides on the carousel down by the lake.
May Day Baskets
Another wonderful tradition involves a basketfull of love. Knock, knock. Who’s there? This spring tradition also dates back many generations.
In the 1800s and early 1900s, people would mark the first of May by hanging baskets of flowers or sweets on neighbors’ doorknobs, knocking on the door and dashing away before they get discovered.
If the homeowner did catch the person in the act, they got a kiss.
It’s an overall silly yet nice experience that seems to be fading out.
Kindness Never Goes Out of Style
Nowadays anyone can send a text to check in with friends and neighbors. It may seem unnecessary to go to such great lengths to create a basket and leave it on a doorstep. You might find it downright ridiculous to dash away.
But the truth may be the opposite. A small act of kindness (like taking time to pull together a gift basket with your own creativity) speaks volumes more than any text message ever could.
Whether you live in a rural part of the country, or an apartment in a big city, we all have neighbors. And, after all, who doesn’t like receiving a gift?
So think about this. However you spend May Day please be inspired to have fun and spread a little kindness where you can. It’s the Shady Pines Way!