In a Vase on Monday: Happy May Day!

Before I share my vase with you for Cathy’s Monday meme (Rambling in the Garden), a few thoughts on May Day…

  • I have no idea where I heard it, but apparently you should clean your front door step on May 1st to stop the ants coming in… I did mine a couple of days early. πŸ˜‰
  • Do children still dance around May poles in the UK? And do they still have May Queens? Or is that all no longer politically correct?
  • In Germany, May Day should either be spent hiking or taking part in a Labour Day demonstration… (Personally, I might just go for a gentle stroll later.)
  • Another tradition in Germany is to put up the new ‘Maibaum’ (May tree/pole) in the village or local community. This is usually guarded well the night before as some villages ‘steal’ each other’s May poles and demand a ransom for them. A nice example a few years ago was that the staff of an old people’s home nearby stole a May pole, transporting it through the town in the middle of the night on mobility aids(!), and demanded a crate of beer as ransom, which they got!

So , now back to my vase…

I intended to use just a few tulips again, but got carried away, as you do in May…

(Click on any picture for the slideshow)

Do you have any May Day traditions? πŸ™‚

Happy May Day, whatever you are up to!


65 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: Happy May Day!

  1. If you get up at dawn on May Day and wash your face in the dew it will make you beautiful…didn’t manage it today 😐 Love your story of the OAP maypole raid! What a gloriously abundant vase you have created – I am so glad you didn’t just stop at the tulips, gorgeous though they are! Thanks for sharing

  2. Looooong ago I remember as a child making paper May Baskets and filling them with wildflowers and hanging them on doors in the neighborhood. I think you are spot on with either hike or Labor demonstration marching though for contemporary ways to mark the day.

    • I hope so too Kate. We used to have ‘Country dancing’ lessons at primary school and it was a lovely way to relax and have fun in a non-competitive way. The May festival was a highlight of the year!

  3. Gorgeous! love that double peachy tulip. I think May Day must be not an American thing. I remember reading stories about it. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated here on May 5 which is kind of strange but a good excuse to drink beer.

  4. I never celebrated May Day here either and grew up in a German community. Cinco de Mayo has become a big holiday here (now I live in a Mexican influenced community), but Mexicans have told me it was never a big holiday in Mexico. It is more of a spring celebration here and not the celebration of the Mexican army overcoming the French. No Margaritas Shrub Queen?

    • The roots of so many of our festivals have pagan origins rather than political or religious. Nice to hear you have a springtime celebration too!

      • No Margaritas for me. Oddly enough, I really don’t like tequila after many years of people telling me I never had any good tequila – I had some and still don’t like it. I like tequila chicken though.

  5. I have no May Day traditions and don’t remember any from my youth. I do remember having to draw tulips and color them this time of year. I still draw tulips and color them.
    I love your vase and it goes perfectly with the flowers you have chosen. Happy May Day as well as IAVOM.

  6. Another lovely vase, Cathy. It looks like your lovely weather has returned. I didn’t grow up with May Day traditions, but here the emphasis is on workers and labor (labour). My husband always reminds me to wear red on May 1st. There are massive rallies and protests under way today, as a reaction to the abysmal leadership in the White House. People are worried, scared and generally fed up with the mean-spirited policies at hand. It feels like we’ve regressed.

    • There were several marches all over the country for peace and tolerance here as well Alys. They don’t get much news time unless there are clashes though. I think our leaders are all greedy warmongers. Have you ever watched Ron Paul’s Liberty Report?
      ( ) We watch so much on the internet now as our news channels are just telling us lies all the time.

      • Thank you for the link, Cathy. I’ve just subscribed to his Twitter feed. I have heard him speak before, but not for a long time. I appreciate knowing about this. I agree: the ugliness gets the headlines and it’s hard to know where to turn. I’m so fed up with all of them. Warmongering lines someone’s pockets and that’s why we keep up ending there. Meanwhile, innocent lives are lost senselessly. I don’t know how they sleep at night.

  7. Happy May Day, Cathy! Very pretty painted vase and spring bouquet. T. ‘Charming Lady’ is a beautiful color and I bet the N.’Yellow Cheerfulness’ smells divine!

  8. Cathy here in Spain is party because it’s Labor Day. There are people who demonstrate and another who goes to the Parks where the Trade Unions have set up parties and go on picnic. On the other hand, the Religious begins the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary. And others are using the bridge to go to the beach. There’s a little bit of everything! Your vase is wonderful, with so many beautiful flowers and so colorful it says it’s Spring. I love the Tulip “Lady Charm”, the Tulipa sylvestris and the Narcisus “The Yellow Joy”. The Hellebores are beautiful. Have a nice day, May Day. Greetings from Margarita.

  9. I clearly should have cleaned my step as ants are coming in. Though they are at the back so maybe no help. Your vase is stuffed full of gorgeous things, so very cheerful. Happy May Day.

  10. You celebrated May Day appropriately with that vase, Cathy! When I was a child, I remember May Day was recognized by creating small floral sprays, usually wrapped in a cone of construction paper, to be left anonymously on neighbors’ door knobs, but that delightful practice seems to have disappeared. Labor demonstrations happen here too but not on the scale of those in Europe, although it’s possible that today’s events may be bigger.

    • Hi Kris. Nomads by Nature wrote about that tradition in the comments above too. Sounds like a lovely way to celebrate spring and it would surely be nice if it made a comeback! πŸ™‚

  11. I am envious of your ‘Charming Lady’ as I ordered a big bag full and I’m sure I planted them and they haven’t appeared! Anyway, nice to see what they should have looked like… Such a beautiful vase. No May Day traditions personally but I love reading about other people’s, and especially about the old folk raiding the May pole!

  12. It’s beautiful to see your full vase for May πŸ™‚ Your Tulipa sylvestris looks delightful, and I know that vase must smell wonderful with Yellow Cheerfulness in it.
    Love your descriptions of celebrating the day… πŸ˜‰ My father’s school always wound the Maypole in his small Kansas town many years ago, but I don’t remember the day ever amounting to much in my childhood, let alone since. But it is definitely a good time for flowers!

    • It is a shame when old traditions die out. We always had a May festival in our village, with lots of games and events and not just food and drink. I danced around the maypole at least once as a child, and it is such a lovely memory!

  13. Gorgeous vase to celebrate May Day, Cathy. Your ‘notes’ bring back memories from England – fiddlers on the green and such. I sometimes have fantasies about organising people to climb our tower in the village on May Day at dawn. But most French people would be sound asleep at that hour. On May Day I just worked in the garden – never seems to be time for a walk (or a ‘march’!).

    • Our neighbouring village in England used to have Morris Dancers and my grandfather played the fiddle! Wonder if they still have a group there… Working in the garden ties in the flowery traditions with the labour movement nicely! πŸ˜‰

  14. I grew up on making little paper baskets to fill with flowers and hang on doorknobs. The trick was to ring the bell and hide in the bushes to see the delight on the face of the lucky recipient. Another tradition was May wine. Your bouquet is all the celebration I need.

    • Thank you Ricki. πŸ™‚ That is such a sweet tradition. Wouldn’t the world be a little nicer if such old traditions were continued?

    • Really? Ah yes, you mean the labour part of it. I think it was always an old pagan spring festival in Britain though, going back centuries. πŸ™‚

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