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May 2022 American Life: May Basket

Thank you for stopping by again this month. We're always happy to have you back. Today while researching what to write for the May entry of American Life I came across some interesting history about America that I had never even heard about. It is this history I want to talk about very briefly today. Today’s topic is May Baskets.


When I sat down to do some research for this blog entry of course the first thing I did was a Google search. I typed in “how do Americans celebrate May?”.  Last year I wrote about Mother's Day so I didn't want to do that again (although I would like to wish all of you mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day!). While doing the research I found out about this tradition that I had never heard of before. It is called May basket.


According to some information the tradition is still practiced in Europe but not  widely celebrated in America (At least as far as I know. We never did this in the Northeast). So what is a May basket? Apparently the tradition of May Baskets used to be a tradition similar to How we celebrate Valentine's Day. Well kind of, anyway. Except on May 1st children used to leave baskets of flowers, sweets or candies on someone's (a sweetheart’s) doorstep or hang the basket on their doorknob. The person delivering the gift  would yell “May basket!” and run away. According to what I found online the tradition was popular in America during the 18th and 19 th centuries. The gifts would be left anonymously.


Honestly I was shocked that I had never heard of this celebration and I was so surprised to read about it. It is interesting to consider why traditions like this would die out but traditions like Halloween would continue over a long time


Well, there you have it. I guess we both learned something new about American life today. The next time I talk to my family I will ask them if they have ever heard of this tradition. 


Please take care and I hope to see you again next month!! 


Our first round of challenge lessons is coming so we are wishing all of our students good luck!


Thank you.

 

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