Friday, 30 April 2010
May Day Eve ~ A Magical Day of Mischief and Merriment!
Today, the 30th April, is May Day Eve........the day before May Day, one of the loveliest English celebrations. Not long ago, as recently as the 1950's, the day before May Day was still observed and celebrated as a special day. An old May Eve custom was to spend much of the day in the fields and woodlands gathering wild flowers to decorate the villager's homes and the local church. Shakespeare's play "Midsummer Night's Dream" was set around this day, and not Midsummer as most people believe. This was the time of year where the link between us, mere earthly mortals and fairies was at its strongest, and this magical connection is steeped in English folklore.
In the Northern counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the 30th May was also know as Mischief Night; a night of trickery and merriment! Young children would play tricks on their neighbours, such as adorning the thatched rooves with rakes, mops and brushes, these were often adorned with household items such as mugs and pails (buckets). Simple tricks that harmed nobody but gave the little ones an innocent chuckle, and their elderly neighbours a muted grumble!