May 1, 2010

recycled may baskets

May baskets are given to friends, family or neighbors, filled with flowers or treats and left anonymously on a door handle. They are in celebration of May Day (May 1st), which marks the end of the uncomfortable winter half of the year in the northern hemisphere. It is celebrated in many countries, the origins are pre-christian, with the festival of Flora (the Roman Goddess of Flowers). This holiday is symbolized by colorful new growth of Spring.  In Europe, people sing songs and typically decorate their homes with fresh flowers, green leaves, and tree branches. May Poles is a common sight on this holiday. Some considered the poles to represent the "tree of life." They are erected in the town square in order to mark the presence of Spring as well as the coming of Summer when all of the trees and flowers would be growing heartily in the sunshine. The May Poles are usually trees that have been cut down in the forests, the branches removed, and the trees then carried into town. Brightly colored ribbons are attached to the tops of the trees. People take turns grabbing a ribbon and dancing around the poles as part of their May Day celebration. Some cultures believe that the winding of the ribbons around the May Poles was an attempt at helping nature remain in balance after the long, cold winter, and continue its plush green growth cycle. Yay for nature! Happy May Day!

To make these the materials I used were: clean tin can (punch holes in sides of can for handle), acrylic paint, magazine clippings, modge podge, pipe cleaners for handle and ribbons. All I did was paint, glue on clippings then seal with modge podge. Added twisted handle, then ribbon into that. Fill with goodies and give away. Celebrate flowers and Spring!

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