Celebrating May Day!

A bright red door makes this May Day basket sing. (Photo: Susan Reimer/Flickr)

After the longest and hardest winter in the history of civilization (at least that's how I'll always remember this past winter), spring is finally in full bloom! May 1st, or May Day is a great day to celebrate spring by surprising your neighbor with a basket of flowers or dancing around a May pole with your kids. Here are some great ideas for celebrating May Day in your neck of the woods:

Give May Day baskets: One of the most popularly known May Day traditions is to hang a basket full of spring flowers or other small gifts on a neighbor's doorknob. You can pick a simple arrangement from your garden, or whip up an eco-basket from recycled paper in your craft box, like this paper plate May basket. But whichever version you choose, just remember to move quickly! The trick is to leave the May Day basket without your neighbor seeing you. If you get caught, you are supposed to get a kiss.

Dance around the maypole: Another popular May Day activity is to decorate a pole with brightly colored streamers or ribbons, flowers, and balloons to dance around. Traditionally, the pole is carried in a parade and then placed in the ground at a designated area. People then dance around it, holding the ends of the streamers or ribbon in their hands. Our town has a maypole as part of their annual MayFest celebration. But if yours doesn't why not make your own like this cute tabletop maypole version?

Make a Hawaiian lei: On May 1st, people in Hawaii celebrate their own version of May Day called Lei Day. They exchange leis with one another and sometimes give a traditional kiss. We can't all live in Hawaii (sigh) but we can celebrate Lei Day by making crepe paper lei versions of this Hawaiian tradition.