A Travalanche May Basket

Well, I’m hoping you even know what a May Basket is, but the odds are almost certain you don’t, as this old folk custom seems to have nearly died out. I haven’t thought about May Baskets since I was a kid and even then they were more of a memory than a flourishing practice. The concept is not unlike stuff that happens on Halloween, Christmas and Easter. On May 1, you’d bring baskets or cones of flowers and treats to the houses of loved ones and leave them on the porch, stoop, doorknob or window sill. The concept is not unlike an Easter basket, although they weren’t for kids, they were more for your sweetheart, mother, grandmother, aunt, neighbor, good friend, etc. I think the custom has suffered by being so close to Easter on one side, and Mother’s Day on the other. How many baskets are people supposed to give and get??? But still, the concept is slightly different. It’s a spring time celebration. April Flowers Bring May Flowers, and here are the flowers. It saddens (and even maddens) me to see such customs fall by the wayside as we increasingly become a nation of strangers.

But that’s a bit of a digression. The idea of a May Basket came to me from the dim recesses of my memory this morning because I was casting about for something conceptual to “hold” many May first messages. Here they are:

  1. May is Lower East Side History Month. You’ll find several relevant posts about that historic neighborhood here. I am also performing in the virtual video edition of the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts over Memorial Day weekend. We’ll circulate the link once it is up!
  2. May Day being an international day of celebration of labor, here is my post on Harry Mountford, founder of the White Rats, the vaudeville performers’ union
  3. Here is last year’s post about the meaning of the May-Pole.
  4. May is also Jewish American Heritage Month. Read over 325 Travalanche posts about Jewish entertainers and other notables here.
  5. May is also Asian and Pacific Islander Month. Read nearly 50 Travalanche posts about Asians and faux Asians (i.e. yellowface depictions) here. 
  6. For what it’s worth, it’s also Golf Day. I friggin’ HATE golf, but I don’t mind golf COMEDIES. Read my dedicated post about them here.