Presentation on theme: "高一（５）班 王琳艳 王琳艳. May Day began as a Spring festival long ago. People gathered together on the first day of May to celebrate the coming of Summer. There."— Presentation transcript:
May Day began as a Spring festival long ago. People gathered together on the first day of May to celebrate the coming of Summer. There are a lot of different customs that have been a part of May Day festivities. Some people would gather flowers and put them by their doors and windows to keep out troublesome fairies. Some people would put out their old hearth fires and gather with the people in their village to start a new fire to take home. Cutting down a tree and putting up a Maypole in the middle of a village is another popular custom. Ribbons are attached to the tree and are woven together by dancers. One more popular custom is filling May Baskets with flowers and other goodies to give to friends and loved ones. Some people still celebrate the pagan festival of Beltaine on the first of May. Many of the old customs are part of this celebration.
The festivals begun in Italy reached their height in England during the Middle Ages. On the first day of May, English villagers awakened at daybreak to roam the countryside gathering blossoming flowers and branches. A towering maypole was set up on the village green. This pole, usually made of the trunk of a tall birch tree, was decorated with bright field flowers. The villagers then danced and sang around the maypole, accompanied by a piper. Usually the Morris dance was performed by dancers wearing bells on their colorful costumes. Often the fairest maiden of the village was chosen queen of the May. Sometimes a May king was also chosen. These two led the village dancers and ruled over the festivities. In Elizabethan times, the king and queen were called Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Maypoles were usually set up for the day in small towns, but in London and the larger towns they were erected permanently. They were considered heathen eyesores by the Puritans. May Day festivals became so gay and wild that the Puritans were able to force the government to forbid them. They soon sprang up again, however, and still continue in many English villages. Today in London children go from house to house bringing flowers in return for pennies. After the pennies are collected, they are thrown into a wishing well. Special wishes are made with hopes they will be granted. The pennies are later collected and given to different charitable organizations. The traditional English chant used when handing out May baskets is: Please to smell my garland 'cause it is the first of May. A branch of May I have brought you, and at your door I stand; It is but a sprout, but it's well budded out, The work of our Lady's hand.
May Flowers Tune: "The Mulberry Bush" Shout hurray for the flowers of May, Flowers of May, flowers of May. Shout hurray for the flowers of May, Pretty springtime flowers! Let's all play in the flowers of May, Flowers of May, flowers of May. Let's all play in the flowers of May, Pretty springtime flowers! May Basket Tune: "Did You Every See a Lassie?" Did you ever see a May basket, A May basket, a May basket? Did you ever see a May basket That looked so good? I worked for hours, Then filled it with flowers. Did you ever see a May basket That looked so good? --Jean Warren