April 28, 2020 - 8:24am -- stone.91@osu.edu

This Friday is May 1st - also known as May Day. 

Has anyone ever celebrated May Day? While this day of celebration has a long and assorted history, many celebrations and festivities have been observed worldwide, with many designed to welcome the changing of the seasons and to celebrate spring. Here in the United States (US), May Day took on an additional meaning and was referred to as an International Workers’ Day which grew out of the labor movement and an 8-hour workday in our country.

Festivals in other parts of the world use the day to celebrate a return of life and fertility. Some worshiped the goddess of flowers, Flora, over the years. Another tradition that came to be is dancing around the maypole. I am thinking this could be achieved while social distancing. Any families willing to give it a try? Photo documenting is a must if you dare to dance around the maypole this week!

More recently, the tradition of the May Day basket came to be. Baskets were filled with flowers and treats and left on the doorsteps of friends, families, and neighbors to enjoy.

Today, May Day is an officially recognized holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more each with a unique twist and purpose. While it is rarely recognized in large part in the US, let us change that in 2020, at least in our communities. This year May Day will fall on Friday, May 1. Get ready to celebrate as the planning has already begun.

I would love to see everyone make a May Day basket of sorts – using something you already have at home and fill the container with live flowers and branches from the yard or garden. Do not have access to plants? Get creative and make flowers from everyday items you have at home – paper, tissues, string, straws, cupcake holders, and more. Place your creation by your door and take a photo. We have a page dedicated to this May Day Challenge on the OSU Extension webpage at lucas.osu.edu/maydaychallenge

Whether your May Day Challenge is something that adorns your front door, or you have plans to safely share the May Day joy with others while practicing social distancing, capture the fun! 

Cannot wait to see your creations posted on social media or via email. Prizes, including flower seeds, will be awarded to those that participate!