With May Day 2016 just around the corner, we thought we’d make all our relevant printables easy to find by listing them in one post. There are some immediately below and some farther down the page.
What Do People Do on May Day?
May Day is an ancient festival whose roots are lost in the mists of time. As you can probably tell from the printables above, it is often celebrated with flowers. May parades, maypole dancing, May basket making and the crowning of the May Queen are just a few of the activities you can find going on around May 1st.
In general terms, it is about the marking of spring. In some countries, bonfires are lit to symbolise the light bringing the long, dark nights of winter to an end, and in others, people stay up all night on the day before May Day so that they can celebrate the coming of the dawn. In the UK, we have Early May Bank Holiday – which is a three-day weekend – so should you fancy a night of waiting up for the sun to rise, you should have enough time to catch up on sleep before having to go back to work!
What’s in it for the Kids?
Assuming that you either can’t get to or can’t find an organised May Day celebration, there are still lots of traditions you can engage in at home. Decorating your home with May Day flowers might be a nice activity for the children. You could use real flowers and arrange them in different vases or cut out a whole pile of paper flowers and stick them around the house.
One of the loveliest May Day traditions for kids to help with is the giving of May baskets. The idea is that you fill baskets with flowers, sweets and/or other presents and leave them on the doorstep of someone you think deserves them – for example, an aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend or babysitter who has been nice to you all year. You don’t have to use a real basket, you can make one out of card like these:
The gifts don’t need to be expensive either – it’s one of those occasions where it’s the thought that counts.