Benson Hill students carry on May Day tradition

Students from Benson Hill Elementary’s three second-grade classrooms marked the first day of May Thursday with a traditional touch: by leaving baskets of flowers on neighbors’ porches.

  • Monday, May 5, 2008 6:37pm
  • News

Benson Hill Elementary second-grade students David Velichko and Marisa Infante deliver handmade May Day baskets to neighbors on Thursday. More than 75 Benson Hill students and their teachers delivered the paper baskets and flowers to about 30 homes neighboring the school in celebration of May Day.

Students from Benson Hill Elementary’s three second-grade classrooms marked the first day of May Thursday with a traditional touch: by leaving baskets of flowers on neighbors’ porches.

This was Benson Hill’s second annual May Day celebration. Second-grade teacher Shelley Severson brought the tradition to Benson Hill from the Portland, Ore., elementary school where she previously taught. Benson Hill students made the flowers out of paper.

“It’s just a good opportunity for the kids to experience giving and not receiving something in return,” Severson says. “And keeping the tradition of May Day alive.”

May Day was celebrated as the first day of summer in many European pre-Christian pagan cultures. June 25 was considered the start of midsummer.

Early European settlers in North America marked May 1 by leaving baskets of flowers on doorsteps, and some, like Benson Hill’s students, continue the tradition today.

According to tradition, the gift-bearer is to announce their delivery by ringing the doorbell. The gift-bearer is then to run, and the person receiving the flower basket is to catch the person. If the catch is made, a kiss is to be exchanged.

But Benson Hill students didn’t do any doorbell ringing, chasing or kissing. Students simply left the homemade flower baskets in front of doors for the recipients to discover. But some recipients caught the students in the act.

“Some people were at home and came out,” Severson says.

The students then greeted the flower recipients with, “Happy May Day.”

The May Day activity was fun for everyone, Severson says.

“The kids had so much fun. They saw their neighbors, and were able to say, ‘Happy May Day.’”

And the neighbors?

“I think they loved it,” Severson says. “Everybody smiled, and said ‘Happy May Day’ back.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Surge in consumer spending eases state budget challenges

A jump in tax collections cuts a projected $9 billion shortfall in half, acccording to new forecast.

Jamie and Jacob Hyland touching hands while recovering from serious burns from fleeing a wildfire earlier this month. Courtesy photo/Harborview Medical Center.
Renton couple remain in serious condition, recovering after Cold Springs Fire

UW Medicine has released a video of a family member speaking on how the two are doing at this time.

Screenshot from fredhutch.org
Fred Hutch seeks volunteers of color for COVID-19 study

Research company recently released a Spanish-language version of the website for accessibility, inclusivity.

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn hands the van keys over to Vision House Executive Director Melissa Gehrig.
Vision House receives van donation

Families experiencing homeless will soon have reliable transportation to attend job interviews and work toward important housing goals on their journeys out of homelessness

High speed rail and hub cities explored in Cascadia Corridor study

A new paper outlines a potential plan for the region.

Photo of Lakeridge Lutheran Church. Courtesy photo.
REACH Center of Hope finds new home on West Hill

All of REACH’s services that support families who are homeless will now have a central location

Should state cover school bus costs if there are no riders?

With funding tied to getting students to school, districts are uncertain how much money they’ll receive.

Most Read