May Day traditions replicated for celebratory holiday

Special to Leader-Press 


If you are 50 or older, you can probably remember re-enacting May Day pole celebrations using the tetherball pole on the playground at school. May Day, traditionally held on May 1, is the celebration of the return of spring. 

Originally, May Day had an agricultural purpose and was a celebration to ensure fertility for crops and, by extension, for livestock and humans.  

Today, May baskets are made as part of the May Day tradition, a celebration of Spring that can include activities like a maypole dance and crowning a queen of May. May baskets are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats, left anonymously on someone’s doorstep.

The Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty are celebrating the traditional holiday by creating May baskets, May trees, and May leis. 

Junior Miss Five Hills Hayley Sawyer created a May tree in her home by covering it in colorful ribbons as high as she could reach. She also created May Day baskets that she will deliver to the client buildings at Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter as part of her platform of service of helping the homeless.

“I am so excited for May Day. I have my tree decorated for May Day and am ready to celebrate,” the 9-year-old said. “I loved making each part of the baskets, especially the candy caterpillars and toy May Day poles. I have beautiful geraniums for my watering can gift planters that I decorated with butterflies and sparkles. I hope everyone loves their special surprises.”

Young Miss Five Hills Angelica Torres created May Day baskets with sunflowers to brighten the day for essential health care workers. She gave one of the baskets to one early and will give the other one on Friday that is May Day.

“I made my baskets for my neighbors who are nurses,” Torres said. “I had so much making them, but the most rewarding part was seeing their faces when they received the baskets.”

Preteen Miss Five Hills Kaydence Roberts tailored her May Day basket with her four-legged friends in mind. As part of her platform of service of kindness to animals, she created a basket full of pet supplies for the cats and dogs at the Copperas Cove Animal Control Facility and potted flowers for the staff.

“I learned the celebration of May Day has different meanings including the celebration of Spring and a blessing of the livestock and prayers for good crops. Some also celebrate this day for the workers. I enjoyed learning the history behind this day,” Roberts said. “I am also excited to perform the maypole dance and deliver my May Day basket on May 1.”

While practicing social distancing, the titleholders will perform a maypole dance at South Park on Friday, May 1, at 1 p.m. complete with ribbons, flowers and live violin music of Vivaldi’s 1st Movement. 

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