Friday, May 1, 2009

May Baskets!!

When I was little May first was one of my favorite days. Here in Minnesota, we celebrated the first day of May by making small baskets, and filling them with goodies. The baskets went into a cake pan and then we hopped into the car and delivered them. We delivered them to old ladies and children, you drove into their yard, ran from the car to the house as fast as your little legs would carry you, knocked on the door and then left the May Basket on the door knob. Then you ran back to the car, if they came out of the door before you made it safely back to the car... you ran willy nilly all over their that they couldn't catch you and kiss you. Once all your deliveries were made, you hurried home to watch for cars to come down your drive..and for kids to coming running up to your door. So you could chase them around your yard.

It seems that no one celebrates this little holiday anymore, except for ME! For me, it is more fun than most cooking of food is involved..only candy..and baskets. I made seven little baskets(for my Great Nieces and Nephews) this year, when I went to the store to get the candy, the checkout gal looked at me a little funny..Skittles, Suckers, and Fruit Roll ups..I explained that it was May Day Basket filler..she said "No one does that anymore" WELL..obviously I do..and I think everyone else should too! In our neighborhood May Day is alive and well!

Recently the following story was related to me, by a friend in his eighties: You know years ago, when I was just a kid, my Ma would have us make baskets for May Day, then she would bake cookies and after chores in the evening we tried to sneak to the neighbors and leave the baskets on their door. Meady (Far Guys Maternal Grandmother) would come out, her apron would be flying, she could run like the wind..she always caught me ..I can still see her running and laughing.

Now for a photo. This would be ME..with my very first May Baskets in 1953..I was not yet 2 years old:)


RURAL said...

Connie, what a great tradition. To bad they don't still do that, sounds like great fun.


DayPhoto said...

Oh, you have been raise so much like me! I had my little children do the May Day baskets and now my grandchildren do them. I forgot today was MAY DAY....I want to get some made for the grandchildren....Thank You for Reminding me.


Anonymous said...

Connie, What a sweet picture. Until today, I never heard of this tradition. Boy did I miss out. I am the CANDY QUEEN! How great that the man reminisced about Meady with you.
I hope you have a great May Day and now I'm going to the store to buy candy!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I don't remember anything like this growing up in Indiana but I think it's a charming way to celebrate the first of May.

Mary said...

We did that, too. My son just mentioned this week that his wife who grew up in the Phoenix area had never heard of it. We also put flowers, usually lilacs, in if they were blooming.

Anonymous said...

The Northern Lights 4-H club here still does this - delivers to assisted living in P R and they sure do love it! Your pic is so cute! I remember Main street used to buzz on May Day when we were kids! jo

Emma Rose said...

I tried to make a basket for Chance out of xoxoxo's, but it won't post right :(
At least the thought was there!

Emma Rose
Happy May Day!!!

L. D. said...

Millions of years ago I would stay in town with a friend and we would distribute homemade May baskets with violets and peppermint candy. It was a pretty neat thing for a town kid to go to the big town of 700 people and deliver baskets. I can't remember how old I became before I quite doing it. I suppose sixth graders didn't do that. Great post.
Oh yes, my wife makes a great pie crust!!!

Moms Musings said...

I never heard of this custom, it's so nice.

Unknown said...

Let's bring this holiday back! It sounds like fun.;D I've heard about dancing around the May Pole, but not about May baskets.

You need to write this down in a scrapbook and include that picture. What a wonderful momento.

Liz in PA said...

Connie~ I remember doing May Baskets for our close neighbors as a little girl. I was raised in a Slovak/Czechoslovakian/German neighborhood, so I wonder if the tradition came from Europe with our ancestors? Also I remember the May Pole dance in Elem. School.

I used to be the Program Director w/our County Farmers Assn. and May 1st is also called:
LAW DAY. We usually had a luncheon and invited various Judges and Lawyers to speak!

Thanks for the Memories. Adorable pic. of you!

Did CHANCE get a Doggie May Basket?

Liz in PA ♥♥♥

Anonymous said...

On May 2, '53 I was almost 3. Are you a June baby, too? I have heard of May baskets, but didn't know about this May Day tradition, which is right down my alley. Too late to do anything about it right now, but believe me I am filing it away in my mind for next year. Since I knew a major street in the downtown area of my city was being closed off for an International Workers Day parade today (celebrating labor union gains & recently pro-immigrant issues), I looked up May Day on Wiki after reading your lovely entry and discovered it is indeed an ancient holiday which has branched into very mixed traditions. Dropping off sweet little baskets of lilacs or skittles and 'running willy-nilly' sounds A LOT more fun than marching in a rally in our 88 degree weather today!! Loved all these reminiscences.

Anonymous said...

Now that's my kind of holiday - no cooking involved!

I love your cheeky grin in that photo.

Far Side of Fifty said... birthday til September..they come soon enough!
Liz, Nope no May Basket for Chance..but he helped deliver them! He took one over for his friend Hooch!
Thanks everyone for your comments! :)

Girl Tornado said...

I LOVE the May Day basket tradition, what a great idea! And you make the cutest lil 2 year old! :)

Pamela said...

I remember May baskets. Mostly we just picked flowers for them. I sure don't remember any candy. Nor any running around the yard and kisses.

Next year watch for me. Tell Far Guy to get ready with the chapstick.