Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy May Day!

Happy May 1st wherever you may be. This year I made fun May Day baskets with a friend. We repurposed old baskets purchased at a thrift store by gluing felt flowers on them with wooden buttons. The effect was rather adorable. This basket was made for some children who live in my neighborhood. I filled it with things people use around the world to celibate May 1st and left them a fun note to explain the items. The first line was:

"In America it has been a tradition to make baskets to hang on the door knobs for your friends with special surprises inside. Traditionally we ring the door bell and run away before you can see us. It is up to you to figure out who we are. Have a guess?"

A popular activity on May Day is to decorate a pole with brightly colored ribbon or paper streamers. Some also add flowers and balloons. The pole is usually carried in a parade and then placed in the ground at a designated area. People then dance around the May pole, holding the ends of the streamers or ribbon in their hands. Instead of a May pole we have four brightly colored pencils for you.

In London, May Day is celebrated with the children going from house to house. They bring flowers and get pennies in return. The pennies are then thrown into a wishing well. The pennies are then donated to charity. A beautiful bouquet of candy flowers awaits you inside this basket as well as pennies for each of you tied up in roles with many good wishes from us to you.

In France, cows play an important role in May Day. The cows are led in parades with many flowers attached to their tails. The people watching the parade try to touch the cows; it is believed to be good luck. Your plastic cow might be small but good things come in small packages. And besides, whoever has to clean up after the real cow at the end of the parade might not feel so lucky ;) Plastic cows fit much better in baskets.

In Germany, one tradition is for boys to secretly plant a May tree in front of the window of the girl they love. Oh my goodness, how would we ever fit a whole tree inside this basket? A pine cone with lots of tree seeds will have to do.

On May 1st, people in Hawaii celebrate their own version of May Day; they call it Lei Day. People give Hawaiian leis to each other. They put them around each others necks and sometimes give a traditional kiss. There are 4 brightly colored lei’s inside this basket. You can count them as a traditional hug from us to you.

Wherever you are in the world today; have a blessed, bright, beautiful (and warm) May. From Fox and Bear at Apple Crate Toys.


  1. I can remember paper weaving a May Basket & filling them full of Violets & hanging them on their door knobs for 2 elderly neighbor ladies. We had such fun doing it!!

  2. you've put so much thought into this project and I love it!!! xxox