Every 1st of May, I think back to 2nd Grade when my teacher made us celebrate May Day by filling green plastic strawberry baskets with flowers and candy and exchanging them with our classmates. I remember the basket that I received like it was yesterday: It was from Anthony Brown and it was filled with white clover flowers and Almond Roca candy. Why do I remember that?! Probably because it was the first time I ever tasted Almond Roca and I was HOOKED!
To be honest, I never understood why we did that and I have never done it since then. Thinking about it as I do every year on this day, I decided to look it up online and learn about May Day.
Apparently many countries have their own unique May Day traditions. Here is what I found for the Americas:
May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American continent. In some parts of the United States, May baskets are made. These baskets are small and usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone's doorstep. The basket giver would ring the bell and run away. The person receiving the basket would try to catch the fleeing giver. If they caught the person, a kiss was to be exchanged.
Modern May Day ceremonies in the U.S. vary greatly from region to region and many unite both the holiday's "Green Root" (pagan) and "Red Root" (labor) traditions. Among the largest is the May Day Parade and Pageant created by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, an event that has happened every year since 1975 in Minneapolis and now attracts some 35,000 people.
So there we have it! It's exactly the way we did it, except we placed the baskets on our classmates' desks and there were definitely no kisses exchanged!
Happy May Day!