I like May Day because it seems like such a female holiday. Traditionally, May Day celebrations include fertility and beauty.
I’d said on Twitter that the beginning of May was a big feast time in Rome. Floralia was for worshiping Flora, the goddess of flowers. Then Maypoles got involved. Bringing in the Maypole from the woods was big cause for celebration. They’re not the only part of May day that I love, I love the history of May Dew, the beauty treatment.
But back to Maypoles.
As it goes with men, Maypoles were of all sizes.
Also as with men, villages competed for the biggest one.
The biggest Maypole recorded, at 134 feet, was brought in two pieces from Scotland to London, and, encouraged by drums, hoisted into position by twelve seamen (heh). The biggest Maypole got even cooler when Sir Isaac Newton bought it to support his 124 foot telescope.
Young girls dancing around the May pole is an English tradition. Evolving over time, the Maypole dance became a whole lot more involved. More recently, dancers weave in and around one another making patterns with ribbons attached to the top of the pole
But no, Helen Jane, tell me about May dew.
Water for purifying was always important in ancient New Year rituals — Europeans believed that dew taken from the hawthorn tree before dawn on May Day was a beauty tonic. They say Catherine of Aragon went into the woods with 25 ladies-in-waiting, to wash her face in May Day dew.
Will I see you out in the morning on Sunday?
Washing your face in dew?
How ’bout Maypoling?