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May

       

The beginning of May has been celebrated for thousands of years, as a way to mark the end of winter. In pre-Christian Europe, May Day was a celebration of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and Maia, the Goddess of Spring, for whom the month of May is named. The Maypole, a tall pole with colorful ribbons woven by dancers into unique designs, has its roots in Roman and Druid celebrations. By the Middle Ages, every English village had it’s own Maypole.

In Medieval times, “Bringing in the May” meant gathering flowers and greens from field and forest for decorations. As a child, I remember the joy of placing small baskets of garden flowers on neighbors’ doors, ringing the bells, and dashing away before the door was answered.

Like so many of our celebrations, May Day is tied to ancient practices related to the seasons. Today we may not dance around a Maypole or make flower baskets for our friends, but most of us find ways to celebrate the energy of this special month. Whether it’s going on a camping trip, digging in the garden, or just taking walks and breathing in the glorious fragrances of spring, it’s easy to partake in the joy of the awakening earth.

 

 





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