May Day Scenes

Welcome to May–a month of sunshine, colorful blooms, and excitement for the summer! When the first of the month, May Day, rolls around, I think of flowers, ribbon poles, and a Renaissance fair vibe. As fortune would have it, I found these ideas encapsulated in a single photograph, below.

At the May Day pageant in Siloam, Greene County, Georgia. Photo by Jack Delano, May 1941. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a35453

At the May Day pageant in Siloam, Greene County, Georgia. Photo by Jack Delano, May 1941. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a35453

As I continued browsing the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog for images of this convivial holiday, I found that May Day festivals are a great source for enjoyable and happy photographs. It also appears that children are the ones who fully embrace the freedom and airy spirit of May Day. I hope you’ll agree that the below images are a wonderful way to celebrate spring!

Playgrounds, May Day. Photo by Harris and Ewing, May 1924. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.32322

Playgrounds, May Day. Photo by Harris and Ewing, May 1924. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.32322

 

Playgrounds, May Day. Photo by Harris and Ewing, May 1924. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.32325

Playgrounds, May Day. Photo by Harris and Ewing, May 1924. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.32325

 

Greenbelt, Maryland. Federal housing project. Kindergarten children practice their May Day dances on the grass in front of the school. Photo by Marjory Collins, May-June 1942. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d20947

Greenbelt, Maryland. Federal housing project. Kindergarten children practice their May Day dances on the grass in front of the school. Photo by Marjory Collins, May-June 1942. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d20947

 

Mrs. Coolidge gets a basket of flowers and a kiss. Photo by National Photo Company, April 30, 1927. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c31303

Mrs. Coolidge gets a basket of flowers and a kiss. Photo by National Photo Company, April 30, 1927. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c31303

The image below, in particular, really made me chuckle, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with anyone nearby!

Children on May Day in Central Park, New York. Photo by Bain News Service, 1908. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.00343

Children on May Day in Central Park, New York. Photo by Bain News Service, 1908. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.00343

There is a young girl in the above photograph with a sign around her neck that reads “Keep of [sic] the grass”. Were yours eyes drawn to her, too? I relate so much to this spunky young girl and her fascinating costume. I had to wonder–is she part of a performance in which she holds the coveted role of “grass”? It would certainly make sense, given that May Day is a celebration of nature and the greater Earth, and of course grass is a cherished element!

Learn More:

At the May Day pageant in Siloam, Greene County, Georgia. Photo by Jack Delano, May 1941. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a35451

At the May Day pageant in Siloam, Greene County, Georgia. Photo by Jack Delano, May 1941. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a35451

2 Comments

  1. victoria lievano
    May 6, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Beautiful!!!

  2. LL
    May 10, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    This is quite delightful! It evokes feelings of simplicity and youthful innocence.

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