Sunday, May 2, 2010

May Day!

Can you believe that May is here? Where did April go? I know it came; in fact it brought with it every manner of weather imaginable here.  Julie and I have been busy with so many things, the on line show has come and gone and we are working on several special orders for some really fun events throughout the country.  If you've been wondering why we haven't been posting very much recently, this is why.

May Day was yesterday - and I thought I would share some May Day lore with you and also give you some sites you might enjoy to learn more about the meanings of flowers and May Day customs. As we look at historic needlework samplers we try to imagine what the stitcher was thinking, as she put each motif in place. Did she choose these motifs because they had special meaning to her, things she saw in her day-to-day life? Did she choose certain flowers and motifs to tell a story through the meanings associated with them? If it was from the Victorian times, a sampler may very well carry more meaning in its bouquets of stitched flowers then the lovely picture it creates for our eyes. Today I think we enjoy the romance and tradition from times past that is lost in our fast-paced world.

The language of flowers reaches back many centuries into the Chinese dynasties, Selam, the Oriental Language of Flowers 
and into the secret language found in the Turkish harems.  
But it was Queen Victoria who truly brought the language of flowers to the forefront.  Now the actual meaning of each flower varies a bit by the source you choose to use, but it's still a bit of fun to think of what you might say to someone with a special bouquet. What would your favorite flora say about you?

My very favorite flower is the daffodil, and this year I had such a showing of them. So chivalry would be a part of my mix. 
Then I think of pansy with its little monkey face as my grandmother use to say: merriment.   
Hydrangea: thank you for understanding. 
Trillium: modest beauty. 
Snowball: thoughts of heaven.
Bleeding heart: a symbol of undying love. 
Primrose: I can't live without you.  
There are so many flowers I enjoy the list could go on and on.  As you look at some of the sites we have shared  below (and there are many more), you can put together your message in flowers for someone you care about or maybe send a message not so cheerful to someone who has hurt you as well!

May Day used to have many customs - some that have been lost through time and some changed to fit into our lives today. I do remember sneaking around early on May 1st, to hang the paper cones I had made filled with dandelions and a few flowers snatched from my grandmother's garden or my mother's flowerbeds on neighbors' doors, then ringing the doorbell and running to hide. You had to see the surprise, "oh my" as they saw this damp display hanging on their door knob. But I never knew I should be washing my face in the morning dew on May Day to restore beauty and help you find the man of your dreams....there are several beliefs to this custom.
Of course there are the Maypole celebrations 
 and May Day Queens, but also there are some beliefs that are not as happy:
"Those who bath in May, will soon be laid in Clay"
"Wash a blanket in May, wash a dear one away"
"Marry in May and you'll rue the day"

So what did your May Day bring? Did you sneak around your neighborhood hanging cones of flowers on their doors to bring a smile to their faces and let them know that summer is truly on its way?

Language of Flowers and May Day Customs Links found on the Internet that I enjoyed, but there are many, many more!
May Day Poem
Round the maypole - round and round
Men and maids and children bound
Show'ring as they halt between
Honours on their May Day Queen.

A May Day Basket for you to make!


  1. Gotta love the month of May.
    Thanks for entering the Shadow Box drawing. Good Luck!

  2. I don't know about that last May saying. We were married May 1st and so far we're 34 years strong. I need to look up Lily of the Valley my most favorite flower.

  3. Congratulations, Marsha! Thirty-four years is a wonderful thing to read! Lily of the Valley is one of my faves, too - especially now in the spring when they're coming up all over my yard, along with the bluebells!


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