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#68436 - 05/01/02 09:48 AM May Day
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Many years ago, there was a custom in New England of children "hanging May baskets". This consisted of their acquiring a small basket, decorating it, and putting candy, etc., in it with a loving note to their mother, then hanging it on the front door knob and ringing the doorbell. Then they hid until their mother came to the door and found it. Then they were invited in for an impromptu party with kisses all around.

I haven't heard of this custom's being observed since the 1930's, Has any one else heard of it since?


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#68437 - 05/01/02 01:24 PM Re: May Day
slithy toves Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 320
Loc: Sarasota, Florida, US
I had totally forgotten this, but we sho'nuff did it. Not just for mothers, but for kids around the neighborhood. Woolworth's sold these little crepe-paper baskets, which we would fill with candy and leave outside someone's door. I'm hazy on this ( it was around age 5 or 6), but my recollection is that you were supposed to leave it and run, because if anyone caught you, they might kiss you. Weird!


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#68438 - 05/01/02 11:06 PM Re: May Day--distress call?
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
While we're on it, how did "May Day" become the international call of distress?

The Only WO'N!

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#68439 - 05/02/02 04:58 AM Re: May Day--distress call?
johnjohn Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
mayday = m'aidez (fr.) = help me


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#68440 - 05/02/02 05:17 AM .
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

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#68441 - 05/02/02 09:29 AM Re: May Day--distress call?
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
MayDay used to be taught to ship radio operators when voice transmission became available, along with SOS, which was easy to send with key "...---..." So "mayday" was chosen by somebody ignorant of French. What would you expect?


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#68442 - 05/02/02 07:11 PM [venez] m'aider
plutarch Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 1385
Mayday = m'aidez
A source I checked gives this derivation:
[From French (venez) m'aider, (come) help me!.]




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#68443 - 05/02/02 10:42 PM Re: May Day
slithy toves Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 320
Loc: Sarasota, Florida, US
Getting back to the original subject, were Dr. Bill and I really the only ones exposed to this pagan ritual?

slithy


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#68444 - 05/03/02 12:00 AM Re: May Day
Geoff Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 819
Loc: Portland,Oregon, USA
were Dr. Bill and I really the only ones exposed to this pagan ritual?

The only pagan ritual I had to suffer through was being paired off with some grubby girl, always one named Ernestine or Thomasine or Earline or the like, who outweighed me two to one, and I had to dance around a large lingam that the grownups called a Maypole.


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#68445 - 05/03/02 12:40 PM Then they cut it down
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
I assume, my dear Geoff, that eventually the parents discovered that the kids were participating in a pagan fertility ritual and put a stop to it. I can hear you at the breakfast table, "I want my May pole. I want my May pole."

_________________________
TEd

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