Welcome to May! In many cultures, the first of May has long been celebrated as a spring festival, marking the beginning of the warm and fertile months of the year. In Europe, this festival is often associated with ancient pagan traditions and the worship of fertility goddesses like Flora and Maia. Festive maypoles, flower garlands, and other traditions have been associated with this day for centuries.
More recently, May 1 is celebrated as a day that commemorates the struggles and achievements of workers around the world. May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day or Labour Day, is a public holiday in many countries. Its modern roots can be traced back to the 19th century, when workers organized themselves to fight for better labor rights, wages, and working conditions.
As a child, I was happily oblivious to May Day’s more serious connotations. I loved selecting flowers from our garden to leave in handmade paper baskets carefully attached to the neighbors’ front doors. May is for iris and peonies, with their heavenly, evocative scents, and I’m sure many of them made their way into my baskets.
Given my love for flowers, it’s no surprise that flower-shaped beads and charms have found a place in my collections. I’m particularly fond of the Czech glass flower beads that come in so many colors and shapes. These Blue & Gold Czech Glass Flower Earrings are a favorite, with a design that’s simple and pretty enough to suit a variety of tastes. (Hint: These make a great Mothers’ Day gift!) And of course, the Love to Ukraine collection features adorable Czech glass sunflower beads.
This May Day, take some time to enjoy the beauty of nature and the spirit of solidarity. Gather some flowers for yourself, or brighten up a friend or neighbor’s day with a handmade basket packed with posies.