If you would like a PDF of this calendar, here it is! bringingthesacredcalendarMay 2014
May 1st is May Day and also the pagan sabbat of Beltane. This is a fertility and spring holiday, with May Baskets, Maypoles, and other spring fun. Making a May Basket couldn’t be easier – a basket full of flowers and then present it to a neighbor/friend (you can put a jar of water in there to prolong the beauty of the flowers). There are directions for making a maypole available online, such as at Mommy Blessing, or you can make a tiny one for a decoration or to put out in your garden (perhaps for the fairies). The simplest way to make a miniature maypole is to use a pencil, cut a selection of nice ribbons to the desired length, and then attach them to the eraser of the pencil with a thumb tack. You can also glue silk flowers over the thumb tack, if you like.
May 6th is National Teachers Day. Did you know that apples became associated with teachers because parents, particularly on the American frontier, would be sharing responsibility to house and feed the underpaid teacher. Children brought food to school to contribute to feeding the teacher, and the apple became the symbol of that. Nowadays, there are many ways you can support a teacher – consider doing something for them on this day!
May 11th is Mother’s Day. In it’s first incarnation, Mother’s Day was a rallying cry for peace put forth by Unitarian Julia Ward Howe. Her Mother’s Day Proclamation makes a good reading for this day, and you don’t have to give up the flowers and breakfast for Mom to also reflect on how a day dedicated to appreciating motherly love would also be a day to call for Peace.
May 26th is Memorial Day. Although this three-day weekend informally marks “the beginning of summer” for most of us, the intention of the Federal holiday was to be a day of remembrance for those who died in military service, in any war. Originally observed after the Civil war as “Decoration Day” it was a day to decorate the graves of soldiers and was observed on different dates by different states. Northern and Southern states primarily only honored their own dead. After World War I, it became a day to remember the fallen from all wars, and the wearing of a red poppy became a symbol of remembrance after the poem In Flanders Fields caught the imagination. If you desired to observe this day, we are living close to several war memorials on the Capitol campus. Last year I took my family there on Memorial Day just to visit the memorials, and it surprised me how profoundly and sadly it touched us. This year we plan to take flowers so the kids can lay them on the memorials. Once again, you can talk as a family and reflect on how these deaths in war should move us to work and call for Peace.
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