01 May 2011

MAY DAY! MAY DAY! Happy Birthday, Friday Jones & Other Festivals Celebrated May 1

When I adopted Friday Jones as a puppy sheltered at Denver Dumb Friends League, I had no idea of her birthday. I guesstimated and chose 1 May because May Basket Day was big in my neck o' the childhood woods.
We celebrated May Basket Day by making little baskets--often of paper--and filling them with popcorn and gumdrops and maybe a twig from a blossoming tree.

Photo by Morgan Huston for Friday Jones Publishing ~ Cheery cherry blossoms on the tree at Friday Jones Publishing house

We exchanged May Baskets with schoolmates or left them on the neighbors' doorstep, rang the bell and ran away, leaving our anonymous gift to celebrate sweet spring.

Today's installment of Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac reports a laundry list of other holidays celebrated on May 1, including the following: In pre-Christian Rome it was the time of the festival of Flora, the goddess of flowers. In medieval England, people gathered flowers to 'bring in the May' and erected a maypole bedecked with garlands. It's also the date of Beltane, a Celtic calendar festival celebrating the start of summer. Beltane was known for its bonfires, and has been revived by neo-pagans all over the world as a major religious holiday. In Germany, May 1st was the date of a pagan festival that was assimilated by the Christians and turned into the feast day of St. Walpurgis. The night before -- Walpurgisnacht -- is still celebrated in parts of rural Germany as a kind of Valentine's Day, with the delivery of a tree, wrapped in streamers, to one's beloved. It's also a day to celebrate Hawaiian history and culture, and it's known as Lei Day in Hawaii."
All these holidays lead me to believe that May Day was the ideal day to mark the birth of my late great muse, Friday Jones.

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Our tagline: WAG YOUR TALE. Happy birthday, Friday Jones. And Happy May Day, all. Share/Save/Bookmark

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