Friday, April 29, 2011

It's easy to celebrate May Day

You’ve shared Cinco de Mayo, Noche de Luminarias, the Whole Enchilada Festival, the Deming Duck Races and so many other unique Borderland fiestas with me. (To say nothing of 24/7 availability of green chile treats, which make every day a fiesta.)
In return, I think I owe you, Las Cruces. And I can deliver.
Do I have a great Anglo fiesta to share with you? I do.
It’s today, but don’t panic. May Day is not a big credit card debt-incursion occasion and you won’t have to rush out to hit the malls for gifts and decorations.
In fact, you probably already have everything you need to create a memorable May Day for yourself and your loved ones, starting with the very newspaper you’re now holding in your hands. (If you’re reading this online, you now have a great excuse to go out and buy the Sunday newspaper, which is still more fun than a cold, hard PC, laptop or smart phone, to stretch out and curl up with in bed or on the couch, or in a hammock on the porch.)
And a newspaper is the only handheld daily informational device that you can transform into a traditional May Day basket.
Here’s how: Take a couple of pages of newspaper, fold ‘em in half, roll into a cone shape and secure with tape or staples. If you want to get fancy, you can fiddle with the cone shape and fold over or trim the opening neatly. Or you can search online and find all kinds of elaborate varations using woven strips of newspaper glued around empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls, cone designs that tuck into themselves and origami variations.
But I say, keep it simple. Once you have the cone, you can make a little handle by taping or stapling a hunk of ribbon, if you have it, or simply fold a few thickness of newspaper to form a strip for a handle.
Now comes the good part. Fill the basket with flowers — from your garden, wildflowers from a walk, pretty silk faux flowers, your own homemade paper posies or some combination thereof, maybe with a little greenery.
Go hang the May Day basket on the door handle of your amigo of choice, ring the doorbell and run like the wind.
If you get caught, the traditional “punishment” is a kiss, so plan accordingly.
That’s all there is to it.
In my family, we went beyond the basics. Both my mom, an art teacher and perennial springtime free spirit, and my sister’s daughter shared a May Day birthday, so it was a big deal and an excuse to go full-tilt medieval Celtic/Scandanavian.
With very little notice — or provocation — I think I could still whip up a daisy chain, floral wreaths and garlands and a respectable Maypole if the demand arises.
Mom used to tie ribbons and scarves to a clothesline pole in the back yard and let us invite all the neighborhood kids to latch on and dance around it. I don’t know if it would hold up with younger generations in the era of advanced virtual reality games, but I personally would still prefer a Maypole dance to an online round of “World of Warcraft.”
Especially on May Day.
So finish reading this newspaper, roll up some cones and fill them with flowers. Whip up a few boutonnieres, a wreath for your hair and maybe a few floral leis or garlands.
Get a posy posse together to distribute the May Day treats to your friends and neighbors.
Take it slow and do your best to get caught and kissed. Then invite everybody over to your casa for a Maypole dance and maybe some honey mead and tea cakes. You can make do with dark beer with a dollop of Mesquite honey, May wine or fruit punch, and cupcakes.
Because all occasions, and especially holidays like May Day that call for maximum euphoria, are better with green chile, don’t forget my traditional May Day favorite: nachos sprinkled with a few edible flower petals and lots of diced hot peppers for the ultimate Maypole dance-green chile endorphin rush.
¡Viva May Day!

S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style.

1 comment:

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