May 1, 2012

Joyous May Day Celebrations!

Flowers, Dancing, and Refreshments!
May Day punch and cupcakes.
In this post are photographs from May Days of previous years
taken by Diane Shepard Johnson.

The chosen music to accompany this post is "Rakes of Kildare" Hammered Dulcimer:
Click Here for Specially Chosen Musical Entertainments.
Return Here to Read the Corgyncombe Courant.
The music is so delightful whilst reading!

A joyous May Day Celebration was held when Sarah's friend's came over to dance round the Maypole.
A tiny Maypole with bears, rabbits, and mouse can be seen in the corner of the stone and wattle fences.
The stone walls are made of field stones that were gathered many years ago and used in an old foundation then reclaimed by us to use in the garden wall.

"Song on May Morning"
Now the bright morning-star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
- John Milton

Our May Day parties are always delightful! The day before May Day, a straight young maple tree is cut from our woods. 'Tis so festive to see the Maypole hoisted and set. Invited friends dance around the Maypole and play their musical instruments together. After May Day refreshments, scrolls are untied and unrolled and May Day poetry is read aloud, together. "May Song" and "Song on May Morning" are amongst some favorites. Tasha Tudor illustrated Sarah in a lithograph called "Afternoon Tea" from one of our May Day celebrations.

The table is decorated with three bouquets of daffodils. Their scent is delightful! The garden was explored whilst enjoying the refreshments.
In the background the field has been prepared for planting.

Diane made cupcakes using the receipt for Becky's Birthday Cake from
"The Tasha Tudor Cookbook".

Diane learned to make May baskets like the May basket above in kindergarten from her teacher. Diane's dear kindergarten teacher Mrs. Platt had also been her Mum's grade school teacher. We make our May baskets out of wallpaper from wallpaper sample books, lined with stiffer paper, in the shape of a cone with a handle. The wallpaper for our baskets is so much fun to pick out from all the samples! Sometimes we also make paper flowers to add to the May baskets, too! Making May baskets is a May Day family tradition at Corgyncombe!

Diane and her daughter Sarah's dolls and animal friends also make small May baskets of their own!

The May basket above is hung on "A Time to Keep" illustrated by Tasha Tudor! Tasha Tudor has done delightful illustrations of children leaving their May baskets at the door and children dancing around the Maypole with a joyful Corgi herding the children in a circle. In the borders round, there are beautiful spring flowers, robins, barns swallows, and a bluebird.

A basket full of handmade May baskets and handmade crepe paper flowers.
Diane made cone shaped May Day baskets filled with crepe paper flowers and cards for Sarah's teachers when she was in grade school. Diane fashioned the daffodil and rose flowers out of crepe paper. Diane's homemade May Day cards were also included with a photograph of Sarah and her cousins dancing round in a circle and inside the card Diane wrote in calligraphy Milton's "Song on May Morning". Sarah wore her crepe paper flower head wreath and handed out the May Day gifts to all her teachers, including those she had in past years.

Diane also made the head wreath flowers out of crepe paper. When Diane showed Tasha Tudor the head wreath, it was packed in a box with tissue paper covering it. When Diane opened the box with the head wreath and picked up the tissue paper, Tasha told Diane's husband that he had an exceptionally talented wife!

Sarah and Tasha Corgi in a rainbow of ribbons.
All the dolls dancing around the Maypole carried small May baskets filled with flowers.

Below are some violets that are in bloom about the lawn. They look like butterflies!
copyright © 2012 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson



Jeri Landers said...

Diane, I would second Tasha on that, you ARE an exceptionally talented person. One of your talents is creating beauty in every setting and every occasion. That wattle fence is just about perfect! How did you get it that way??! I have made a few, and they are usually quite lopsided and crooked.
When I was a child, we practiced and practiced the Maypole dance. About 20 of the Elementary schools sent one set of dancers to perform in a huge auditorium, each school in different costumes, all "Maypoling" in unison around 20 Maypoles. I was in one of the groups and was simply terrified that I would forget to move properly. I hope things turned out fine, I just don't remember!

The BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY said...

Hi Diane and Sarah,
Happy Spring and May! All the pictures from times past are still so Spring fresh and pretty,
and it's so nice to share traditions with family through the years!
The viotets do look like Butterflies!!
Many Blessings and Hugs Linnie

Jeri Landers said...

Oh, I forgot to mention, I am looking into those little corgi pals. These decisions are tough. I love so many different dog breeds, I can't choose!
Cousin Jeri

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