Here’s the 2010 May Day Basket from my girlfriend Chris. It arrived in the mail a few days ago with a note to “Open on May 1st”. Isn’t she clever? What an adorable basket! I cheated and opened it Friday afternoon — so you could see a picture on May Day. Thank you Chris!!!
Inside the basket, Chris tucked in a tiny paper scroll with the following message.
The Meaning of May Baskets
“Hanging May Baskets” teaches children the true meaning of May Day — love, kindness, and thoughtfulness toward others. It is a tribute of love and friendliness, and an announcement of spring and good cheer. Above all, it is a delightful custom that children really enjoy observing. At dusk or in the early evening, a basket containing a few wild flowers, some candies or fruit is hung by a child on a friend’s door. The bell is rung or the child cries out “May Basket for Mary”, then races away to be chased and caught by Mary and, sometimes kissed.
Long ago, the May basket hanger slipped away without being discovered. Today, it is the custom to be identified.
May baskets are often delivered to mothers, fathers, adult friends, to sisters and brothers. They bring cheer to those who cannot attend the May Day celebration — children and friends who are ill, veterans in hospitals. Shy children find it hard to say “I like you” even to their closest chums. May baskets say it for them so easily.
Reprinted from the book, May Day Celebrations for Children, Hall Brothers 1952