Happiness is watching children joyously dancing around the May pole. A symbolic ritual that chases away cold winter winds and welcomes springs blooming flowers and trees. As the mom of a kindergartner this was our first time celebrating May day at our local elementary school.
The children were divided into two groups; the youngest simply skipped around the pole, the older children looped and wove the ribbons.
We had a few after school rehearsals to practiced lining up skipping and dancing around the pole. During one of the practices I realized they needed someone to make thirty seven crowns. I quickly volunteered and set off to raid the spring garland display at JoAnn's Fabric store.
Stacks of twisted crowns filling my family room couch. These are the easy crowns made from the lightweight garland.
I was unable to find enough of one kind of garland so my method for making the crowns adjusted with the available materials. Lightweight berry garlands could simply be cut in half and wound into two separate crowns.
Heavy weight wire cutters and pliers were necessary to cut the wire vines apart. You can see the flower sprays that were pulled out of the garland at the top of the frame.
The other garland consisted of a heavy brown vine and lighter green stems. I had to pull this garland completely apart. I used wire cutters to clip the heavy vines and twisted them circles that were slightly too small for my head. I wrapped the loose sprays to the vine with lightweight plastic coated Fun Wire (Toner). the green wires of two floral sprays could also be twisted together to make a single crown. It took more work but I was able to get five crowns out of each these garlands.
Simply hold the berries to the vine in one hand while the other hand wraps the wire.
I brought the garlands into one of the last practices and shamelessly asked for help from other moms to cut and loop three folded ribbon lengths around each crown.
Finished crowns on the school bleachers.
The evening was a great community building event. Money was raised by May basket raffle tickets, and light refreshments sales. Koi fish were also sold to in honor of children's day and to raise money for Japanese Tsunami relief.
Celia and her dance partner leaving the May pole.
It's wonderful to be able to help with something that comes easily to me. It also makes me smile to know that each of the dancers took home their flower crowns as a keepsake from the dance.