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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

On May Baskets and Iowa

When I was a child growing up in Iowa, it was the custom to make May baskets and place them on people's porches in the neighborhood. My mother helped us create these baskets and we ran around in the heat of the Midwest and put these treasures on the neighbors we knew and with whose children we played.

I was never quite sure as to the religious or secular history of this custom. By the time I was in high school in the late sixties, the custom had passed, although we as a family would bring baskets to the two grandmothers. The nuns at school told us as children this all was in honor of Our Lady.

These baskets were not elaborate, and usually the flowers were picked in the fields and parks in the neighborhood-violets, daisies, daffodils, even dandelions.

If anyone else grew up with this custom, please let me know on this blog.


New Sister said...

Our teacher in first grade taught us about this and I remember being quite excited to learn of the practice... but every year thereafter I wondered why no one did it - until I lived in France! I always received meugets from friends while living there. (& I've heard that it is *illegal* to sell meugets before 1st of May in France!)

New Sister said...

O my crumby spelling - MUGUETS, rather.

Supertradmum said...

New Sister, this is interesting. The religious order which taught me, the Sisters of the Holy Cross, had a French foundation. And, both sides of my family had some French connections, and my mother grew up in St. Louis, which is, as you know, of a French origin.