May Day Birthday
By Jennifer Swartvagher on April 30, 2014
May Day, is not a commonly celebrated holiday in the United States, unless you have a child whose birthday falls on the date, like I do.
Sixteen years ago, when I arrived at the birthing center on May 1st ,all the nurses marveled that I was having a May Day baby. In an epidural fog, I planned to research the holiday for when Abigail,was old enough to appreciate it.
Traditionally observed by dancing around a maypole or gifting neighbors with a basket of flowers, May Day is the perfect holiday for hosting a spring party. May Day celebrations date back to the Festival of Flora, which honored the Roman goddess of flowers. These celebrations although evolved from pagan roots, became increasingly associated with the Virgin Mary. As a Catholic School girl, I remember the first of May was synonymous with the crowning Mary.
When Abigail was about to turn two, she was particularly interested in ladybugs and anything having to do with springtime. Emotionally, it had been a very hard winter on our family. A May Day celebration seemed like the perfect way to welcome Spring and honor our beautiful girl.
One May Day tradition involves setting up a maypole. This brightly painted pole would be decorated with greenery and ribbons. I set out to create a special maypole to serve as a central point for the birthday festivities. I pictured dancing and merriment as the ribbons twirled beneath the maypole. In reality, there were a lot of preschoolers and toddlers squealing as they twisted the ribbons every which way. The latter made for wonderful memories and lots of fun pictures.
Happy May Day and Happy Birthday to a very special girl.
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