Memorial Day

Upon recently glancing at my calendar I saw that Memorial Day weekend is upon us! The weather is warm, cookouts are a nightly event and we are finally able to wear our favorite summer clothing and sandals. This also means a busy weekend is ahead of us: parades, services for fallen soldiers and a family bar-be-que. Can’t wait!

Memorial Day parade

To me it’s not Memorial Day without our town parade. The first one was back in 1885, and people have been enjoying it since! I participated in it growing up whether on a float, or marching with my peers for an organization. Now I enjoy being a spectator and admiring the floats, marching bands and all the classic cars!

After the parade is a service in the town park. There is a memorial in which a veteran lays a wreath or flowers down on and the school bands play in the background. Then everyone has a moment of silence and reflects the true meaning of Memorial Day.

Many towns across America have similar traditions. What does your town do?

Services

As mentioned before, we hold a service in our town park for those who have fought for their country. There are also services at your local church. Many chaplains celebrate with a short service at a military graveyard or a local cemetery. It’s nice to know that there are different ways to honor those who have fallen during war, or those who have lost someone from their military unit. That is what Memorial Day is for.

Bar-be-que

Yes, this is perhaps my favorite part of Memorial Day weekend! I know Saturday morning I’ll be putting my fiesta beans in the crock pot, and get ready to grill all weekend long! Plenty of pasta salads, grilled entrees and lots of fresh fruit salad! It’s especially nice when you can enjoy it outside in the sunshine!

This is what Memorial Day weekend is about to me. What is this weekend about to you?

May Day

Happy May Day! May 1st around the world is celebrated as May Day. It is a prominent holiday celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere, but mostly in European countries and North America. Think typical spring festivals like singing, traditional dances and maypoles! The holiday dates back over millennia ago, and has many different origin and traditions! Let’s explore some!

Two of my favorite traditions originate in Scotland! The young, unwed women in Edinburgh trek up to the top of Arthur’s Seat to wash their faces with the morning dew on the grass. This helps to keep their youthful beauty! In Saint Andrew the university students go to the beach the night of April 30th so that when the sunrises May Day they run into the North Sea.

In England there are many celebrations, and even have a May Queen. There is a maypole, along with numerous dances that date back to the 14th Century. Oxford, Durham, Cornwall and numerous other English towns participate in these festivals! If you are visiting a medieval town around this time of the year in England, be sure to participate! Maybe you will even be named the May Queen!

Many women’s colleges in the US participated in May Day festivities. Two that still continues the traditions are Bryn Mawr College and Brenau University. At Bryn Mawr they sing the Dar Williams song “As Cool As I Am” for the May Day celebration which happens the Sunday after classes end in. They also gather for the “May Hole” celebration which is a feminist answer to the maypole. At Brenau University they celebrate a student from each state for their May Day festivities. They celebrate it a bit earlier in April due to exams being in May!

Since May Day has been around for over a millennia, it is often seen as a Pagan holiday. It is also closely associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Catholic faith since the 18th Century. You will often see Mary adorned with flowers during the May crowning, which occurs in May.   

As you can see May Day is a popular holiday around the globe. Join some of the festivities, or create your own! Attend a May crowning mass, be your own May Queen, or create a maypole with some friends! The possibilities are endless!

Pets at Christmas

Christmas is a special time of the year. We enjoy the traditions of baking cookies, decorating our Christmas trees and singing along to the songs on the radio. Another thing we enjoy is the antics our pets come up with during this festive time of the year! We thought we’d show you some of our favorite moments from years past with our fur family!

Continue reading “Pets at Christmas”