Hospitality

May Day – celebrating summer

May 1, 2012

Happy May Day! Today is traditionally known as the first day of summer. Summer?! Yup. I know with much of England still on flood warning, and April being reported as the wettest April on record for the UK, that may be a little hard to imagine for some of my British readers, but in seven short weeks it’ll be Midsummer, so better start celebrating already!

May Day festivities back home in the UK have a long and fun history. Today is the day you’ll find May Poles rigged up on village greens across the country, the Morris Men will come out to dance with their white handkerchiefs and wooden sticks, and in Oxford the police will spend much of the morning trying to prevent enthusiastic young people from jumping off the Magdalen bridge into the all-too-shallow Thames.

And even though Luxembourg has not been spared the never-ending rain of the last few weeks, we feel the changes coming with the warmer air and lighter evenings – spirits are higher, frowns give way to smiles, and workers leaving the office are more likely to head for the local pub or wine bar than straight home…

So it’s a watery May Day, but maybe we can still find a moment to celebrate summer?

May Day in the UK is generally celebrated with may pole dancing, morris dancers, choirs singing at dawn and a “May queen” being crowned. But if that seems a bit complicated, you can still celebrate by hanging ribbons from the trees, finding a sunny patch of grass and making daisy chain crowns, leaving posies of flowers (and sweet treats) on your neighbours doors, and even making these fantastic “may pole cakes” from studio DIY

May Day Inspiration board

Happy May Day!

Sources:
1) Daffodils photo from designmom.com.
2) Vintage May Pole dancers photo via Pinterest, source unknown.
3) Morris dancers photo from Cotswolds website.
4) Ribbons in trees, original source unknown, via The Utter Blog
5) DIY Mini Maypole Cakes, with tutorial, by Studio DIY.
6) Beautiful handmade May Day baskets, by A Field Journal
7) Field of Daisies photo, original source unknown, via Pinterest.

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  • Dad

    It’s the Cherwell, not the Thames at Magdalen Bridge. And nobody tried jumping in this year as it was too cold and wet – the weather that is, not the river, which is always cold and wet. Although due to all the rain, it was unusually high and deep this year! (And of course, technically, it is not the Thames anywhere in Oxford, but the Isis….)