May Day Memories

I don’t know if this is mostly a mid-western custom or if it is more widespread. Growing up, we made May baskets to hang on the neighbors’ doorknob on May 1st.
We filled these with spring flowers from our yard like lilacs or daffodils.

The baskets were crayon-decorated sheets of paper shaped into a cone with a paper loop attached for hanging. I’d assumed the custom had fallen by the wayside in these days of cell phones, non-stop television and reduced neighborly interaction.

Surprisingly, I found it’s going strong in small Kansas towns, at least in my folks’ neighborhood. In sorting my mother’s writing room contents after her death, I found several May baskets with the names of her neighborhood children scrawled in colorful letters on them.

They obviously pleased Mom, as she hadn’t thrown them away. These had paper flowers and some artificial ones. Happy May Day to all of you.

One of the May baskets that Mom saved.

One of the May baskets that Mom saved.


One of my friends grew up in Kansas and wrote about celebrating May Day. You’ll enjoy her article.


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