The Most Fun May Day Traditions: Magic Morning Dew, Fairy Houses and Foliage Accessories
MAYDAY! Serious springtime fun ahead!
Although summer doesn’t officially begin ’til June, May Day is exactly half a year from November 1st, and marks the end of the winter in the Northern hemisphere. THAT calls for a celebration. Traditionally, kids in English villages would “bring in May” by dancing around maypoles, riding around on hobby horses, and nicky nine door-ing their neighbors with baskets full of treats.
Here are some cool ways you can bring in the spring with your kids.
FOLIAGE ACCESSORIES FOR STYLIN’ AND PROFILIN’
This ancient May Day custom has really survived the test of time. Kids would handcraft garland from flowers and foliage and drape themselves in it before they would go begging door to door, singing along their jaunt. Check out our dandelion crown how-to for a garland head dress you can make in a snap. Don’t limit your flower crown wearing to one day, either. We anticipate the dandelion crown will be in style all spring. Fab!
THE MAYPOLE BOOGIE
Dancers would take part in this folk dance by prancing in a circle while holding a coloured ribbon attached to a pole (known as a maypole). Gradually, the ribbons become intertwined and the result was a sweet looking Maypole. The symbolism of the maypole is ambiguous, but some scholars have chocked it up to a symbol of the world’s axis, others say it’s a reference to sacred trees. We think it just looks cool.
DIY MAGIC MAY DEW FACIAL
One superstition believed that May dew has magic properties and anyone who washes their face in it will have a beautiful complexion all year. As the traditional rhyme goes, any maid who rises early on May morning “and washes in dew from the hawthorn tree / Will ever after handsome be.” While people have differing ideas of when and where this magic is in effect, everyone pretty much agrees that the dew is only effectual at or just before sunrise.
GUERRILLA TREAT BASKETS
This is the most ancient and forgotten of all May Day customs. Traditionally, kids would sneak up to neighbors houses, hang a basket full of fun treats on the doorknob and ring the bell and run away. If the door was opened before you got away, you had to kiss your unsuspecting recipient. Stock a basket with bunches of wildflowers or a mix of small candies and fun trinkets, and nicky nine door your homies. Or, make a batch of one of our edible baskets creatively crafted with pie crusts, ice cream cones and more.
FAIRY HOUSES FOR LIVIN’ LARGE
It’s an Irish May Day tradition to make houses for our winged protectors of the natural environment with tree bark, moss, pine cones and acorns. It’s an addictive decor addition — some families add to them all year round. If you attract a fairy to your fairy house, be aware that a reciprocal invitation to visit the land of fairies is a high honor, but if you eat or drink anything there, you may never leave. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. For the bold magic seeker, here’s our guide to making a fairy house fit for a king. Now have a tea party in the garden and wait for the fairies to come.