For centuries, the month of May, leading into the Midsummer, has been a time to acknowledge the end of cold, dark Winter and beginning of earth’s renewal. English historian John Stowe (b.1524/25, d. April 5, 1605) wrote of May Day:
"On May day, in the morning, the citizens used to walk into the sweet meadows and green woods, there to rejoice their spirits with the beauty and savor of sweet flowers Every parish, and sometimes two or three parishes, joining together had their Mayings, and did fetch in May-poles, with divers warlike shows, with good archers, morris dancers, and other devices for pastime all the day long; and, toward the evening, they had stage-plays, and bonfires in the streets“.
At Plimoth Plantation in the 21st century we celebrate May Day with dancing, flower crowns, and one of our favorite traditions - leaving a May Day basket filled with flowers or treats on the doorstep of your loved ones or neighbors.
May Day activities that you can enjoy at home:
- Print out directions and make a May Day basket here.
- Make a flower crown by printing these directions and following along here.
- Learn a dance by watching this video, and follow along with these instructions!