May Day and its Forgotten Traditions

Happy May Day! We hope everyone has enjoyed this first day of May in whatever way you’ve chosen to celebrate it. May Day is more than just the first day of the month, though. It has a tradition that is often forgotten that we’d like to bring back to everyone’s attention: the May Day basket! So travel with us through the fun of this forgotten tradition.

The May Day basket tradition began many many years ago. In the 19th and 20th centuries it was common all across the nation. As the month of April came to an end people would gather their basket goodies together to hang on the door of their friends, neighbors, loved ones, and even their admirers.

images (1) A May Day basket is generally made of paper and can contain anything you want. You can give candy to one person and flowers to another. This made that first day of May extra special, because you never knew what you might get.

The act of giving the baskets is huge part of the tradition. You hang the basket on the door of your recipient, knock on the door or ring the doorbell, and rush to get away before you are discovered. It is said that if you hang a basket on the door of someone you admire and they catch you it is a great disgrace!

Unfortunately, this great tradition has died off over the years. Less and less May Day baskets are found on door steps each year, and the reason is really unknown. For most people, the tradition is best celebrated in their memories.


How do you celebrate May Day? Did you ever make a May Day basket or celebrate another May Day tradition?

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