I’ve been a-wandering all the night
And the best part of the day
Now I’m returning home again
I bring you a branch of May
A branch of May, my love, I say
Here at your door I stand
It’s nothing but a sprout, but it’s well budded out
By the work of the Lord’s own hand
My song is done and I must be gone
No longer can I stay,
God bless you all, both great and small,
And bring you a joyful May.
As a child, May Day involved dancing around a May Pole with ribbons, tying May-Day-Wish ribbons to trees, and eating donuts hung on trees (we were told that the fairies had left them for us). In college May Day also involved mimosas, strawberries and cream (a treat we’ll have to leave until strawberries come in), and taking down the patriarchy (on a holiday which includes ritual dancing around a large phallic object, it’s important to reverse things a bit).
This year May Day went something like this:
At 8pm we loaded up the car with bundles of sticks, newspaper, and a picnic basket full of food and drove out to the local state park where they proceeded to build a significant, if exceedingly safe, fire on which to make celebratory doughboys.
The ingredients are simple (if not actually seasonal, um, at all) and delicious:
1 pack of crescent rolls
1 jar of raspberry jam
1 pot of melted butter
1 bowl of cinnamon and sugar
Wrap the strips of dough around dowels and cook them over the fire until they look relatively cooked. It is, of course, best to avoid setting either the dowel or the roll on fire, which can be tricky. When it seems puffy and cooked, carefully pull the doughboy off the dowel and dip in in the butter, sugar, and jam. Eat, repeat, and be merry.
Lessons from the front:
1. Don’t knock the entire pot of butter onto the grass.
2. Do make sure to have sheets, clothing and extra sweaters available for after you rashly go skinny dipping in the very cold lake. A fire is warm, but so it being dry. It also helps to shout “hey hey, ho ho, the patriarchy has got to go” to psych yourself into jumping to said cold water.
3. Don’t let your survival candle lantern blow out, it makes dressing more difficult.
All in all, an excellent May Day. Complete with yummy sweets, singing, naked swimming (almost as good a May Pole dancing), and fire. What more could we ask for a pagan beginning of spring celebration?