May Day is celebrated in many different countries on May 1st, and it signifies the transition from spring to summer. It’s a time that neighborhoods and friends can come together to enjoy the warm spring air and fresh flowers. Do some fun May Day activities, like making flower crowns, dancing around a Maypole, or taking a nature hike. Make May Day baskets to gift to your friends and neighbors, or host your own May Day party, complete with hand-delivered invitations, fresh food and drinks, and fun activities.
EditSteps

EditExploring Fun May Day Activities

  1. Decorate a Maypole with ribbons to enjoy dancing around it with friends. This is a fun way to add a little magic to your May Day gathering. Once you have a pole in the ground, tie 6 to 10 strands of ribbon that are each long around the top of the pole. When you’re ready to dance, put on some music, have everyone grab the end of a ribbon and face the same direction, and dance circles around the pole.[1]

    • Use either a long, straight branch that is about tall or a similarly sized pole. Either hammer it into the ground or use a Christmas tree stand to hold the pole in place.
    • For little kids, you could also use something like an empty wrapping paper roll to make a mini-Maypole.
    • There are lots of fun ways to braid the ribbons around the Maypole, from the simple plait, the double plait, to the grand chain. You can find instructions online for the steps to these more intricate dances.

  2. Braid a flower crown to make a whimsical decoration for your head. A big part of May Day is celebrating spring turning to summer and the emergence of new blooms. Pick a handful of flowers from your garden and braid them together to make an adornment for your hair.[2]

    • If you don’t have a garden, ask a neighbor if you could pick some of their flowers, or stop by a community garden. Make sure to not pick more than you need, though.

  3. Bake a cake with fresh ingredients if you enjoy baking. Remember, May Day is all about spring turning to summer and celebrating all things fresh and alive. Make an angel food cake and top it with diced strawberries, or try making a classic vanilla cake and pair it with blueberries.[3]


  4. Plant some spring flowers to celebrate new growth. May 1st is a great time to go outdoors and get your hands in the soil. Plant some new flowers along your walkway, or cultivate a small flower garden that you’ll get to enjoy year after year.[4]

    • Plant perennials for flowers that will return each season. Plant annuals for flowers that you can enjoy just for a single season.

  5. Take a long nature walk to enjoy the fresh air. Look up the local nature paths in your community, or find a scenic route along a river or the ocean. Spend an hour or two out in the warm spring air, checking out the flora and fauna that is starting to creep up.[5]

    • This is a great activity to do with kids, too. You could even make a nature scavenger hunt where they have to find different things, like moss-covered rocks, acorns, leaves, different kinds of flowers, or animals.

  6. Have a picnic with veggies and seasonal fruits for a delicious snack. If you’re celebrating with friends, spend a pleasant afternoon at a local park chatting, eating, and enjoying the holiday. Pack watermelon, cantaloupe, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and peaches. Enjoy cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, celery, radishes, and other vegetables along with some tasty dips, like hummus and spinach dip.[6]

    • Don’t forget to bring along a blanket, something to drink, and sunscreen!

  7. Burn a bonfire in the evening to celebrate warm weather. The beginning of May signifies the end of dreary spring weather and the start of warmer days. Ending your May Day with a bonfire is a wonderful way to spend some more time outside, celebrating with friends and neighbors.[7]

    • Check to make sure you’re following the proper safety precautions and that you’re allowed to burn a bonfire. Some city ordinances require you to notify them of a planned bonfire several days ahead of time.

EditMaking a May Day Basket

  1. Make homemade treats to put into the baskets for a special touch. Small items like cookies or popcorn balls are nice additions to your May Day basket; plus, you can make 1 big batch and use just 2 or 3 treats per basket. This way you can make a lot of baskets to give away, or you can have leftover treats for yourself. You could also put in some fresh fruit, like oranges, clementines, or freshly picked strawberries.[8]

    • If you do include fresh fruit, make sure the items are still in good shape and won’t go bad by the time you deliver the baskets.

  2. Create small flower bouquets for a simple, yet beautiful, addition. If you have a garden or access to fresh flowers, trim off a few stalks and tie the stems together with twine to make a simple, fresh bouquet. If you don’t have access to fresh flowers, you could always buy a big bouquet from a florist or from the grocery store, split the bouquet apart, and assemble smaller bunches to use in your baskets.[9]

    • Never take flowers from someone else’s yard if you don’t have their permission.
    • Bouquets don’t have to be big to be beautiful. Three or four single flowers put together can be just as attractive as a full bouquet.

  3. Write a short note to put in the basket referencing May Day. If your friends or neighbors don’t celebrate May Day, they may get confused when a random spring basket appears at their home. Remedy this by writing out a note on card stock to put into each basket.

    • Have your note read something like, “Happy May Day!” or “A basket of treats to help you celebrate May Day!”

  4. Arrange the basket to prepare it for delivery. The great thing about May Day baskets is that they can be really small and still be nice and meaningful to those who receive them. Find small baskets at the local dollar store, craft store, or even at a used goods store. Place the flowers in the basket so they are sticking out and visible, add the homemade goodies, and prop the handwritten note in the basket so that it is standing up.[10]

    • You can get as complex as you want to with your baskets. Keep them simple, or decorate them with ribbon, add more treats, like chocolates or wine, make them bigger, or do whatever else calls to your imagination. There is no right or wrong way!

  5. Deliver the basket to a neighbor to give them a May Day treat. Traditionally, May Day baskets are left on doorsteps or outside of people’s homes, the doorbell is rung, and the giver of the basket runs away. If you’re worried that someone else might come by and steal the basket, then deliver it in person and make sure the intended recipient gets it.[11]

    • However you end up delivering the basket is okay—it can be fun to surprise people and leave them guessing who gifted it to them, but it also can be fun to talk with someone and wish them a happy May Day in person.

EditHosting a May Day Party

  1. Make invitations, attach flowers to them, and hand-deliver them. Lilacs, tulips, forsythia, or small succulents are inexpensive options and will make cute invitations. Use card stock to write the party details (time, location, date), then attach it to the flowers with some twine.[12]

    • Depending on how often you see your guests, you may need to plan ahead and start handing out invitations a few weeks ahead of time to make sure you have enough time to see everybody.
    • If you can’t hand-deliver the invitations, that is okay! You could always make invitations on floral-themed paper and mail them out to everyone instead. Or, to keep things really simple, just send a text to everyone to let them know the details. It can be as detailed or a simple as you’d like.

  2. Host your friends outdoors if the weather is nice. You can use your own yard if that is accessible to you, or you could plan to have the party at a local park. Have a tablecloth or blanket to put the food on, and ask friends to bring blankets or chairs to sit on.[13]

    • If you have to be indoors, brighten the space with fresh flowers. Clear away all the clutter you can, open the blinds to let in any natural sunlight, and enjoy spending time with your friends.

  3. Make overnight sticky buns for a sweet and crunchy treat. Use your slow cooker to let the buns bake overnight, and then host a morning May Day brunch with the buns, coffee, tea, and fresh fruit. Or, if your gathering is later in the day, they’ll make a nice afternoon treat, too.[14]

    • Of course, if you don’t want to bake your own sticky buns, you could stop at a bakery to pick some up, too.

  4. Prepare easy snacks, like cheese and crackers and veggies and dips. Make snacks that will be easy to carry outside and that travel well, especially if you’re planning on having a picnic. Cut up several different kinds of cheese, like cheddar, brie, and gouda, and pair them with crackers. Cut up fresh vegetables and serve them with homemade dips.[15]Advertisement


    • Fresh fruit, muffins, bread, olives, and pickles also make great May Day snacks.

  5. Serve fresh beverages like orange juice or mimosas. Use a hand press or an electric juicer to juice 2 to 4 oranges for each cup of juice you’d like to make. Serve the juice in cute glasses with decorative straws for an extra festive touch. For mimosas, fill a glass 1/4 to 1/2 way full of champagne. Top off the rest of the glass with fresh juice. Add some blueberries or diced strawberries to the glass for a fun garnish.[16]

    • If you have other fruits and an electric juicer, don’t hesitate to mix and match different flavors. Strawberry, banana, pineapple, and other fruits mix with orange juice to make delicious fruity beverages.
    • You could also create a mimosa bar. Provide different kinds of juices, several bottles of champagne, and lots of fresh fruit so people can mix their own favorite drink.

  6. Plan a few festive activities for your guests to enjoy. Decorate a Maypole, braid flower crowns, paint, make May Day baskets, go shopping for flowers and then plant them, or think up something else that you think everyone would like to do. Even if you just spend time together outdoors and play games, that is a great way to celebrate the holiday.

    • If you’re feeling lost and want some input, ask your friends what kinds of activities they’d be interested in. They probably have some great ideas!

EditTips

  • Remember, May Day is a time to enjoy the outdoors and to take a break from the normal workday routine. Do whatever sounds best to you!

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EditReferences

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