May Day (Maifeiertag) on the first of May is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday. The first day of May is celebrated in many parts of the world. In the Rhineland, where we live, May 1st, is also celebrated by the delivery of a Maypole (Maibaum) a tree covered in streamers to the house of a beloved person the night before. Often, the person who decorates and puts up a Maypole in front of a house, also places a painted wooden heart on the tree that bears the name of the recipient.
Flowers are always a big part of May Day celebrations. May Day not only brings the image of maypoles, but also of collecting flowers and throughout its history, May Day has traditionally been a joyous celebration of spring and the coming summer.
May Day is an ancient holiday that has its roots in paganism, stemming from the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht), in honor of St. Walburga, a nun who is believed to have cured the illnesses of many.
The Romans were the first to specifically mark the first day of May with a festival that celebrated the coming of spring. As Europe moved away from Paganism, May Day began to take on other meanings. It is now variously considered an International Workers’ Day as well as a day to celebrate the beginning of Summer, a national holiday and, perhaps most importantly, a day to have a party.
For our celebrations at home, I like to make a simple and pretty Lemon Buttermilk Bundt cake that needs no adornment other than some icing sugar. Make sure to use a lovely cake pan.
So why not celebrate the first day of May and the coming summer by baking a delightful little lemony cake and decorate the table with some wonderful late spring flowers.
I took these pictures today, downtown Bonn (Germany) and this one shows a Maypole that someone placed in front of a house near the City garage...
...and in the old part of the city, there are presently quite a numer of tourists taking numerous pictures of the wonderful cherry tree blossoms (Kirschblüten) - the fragile pink flowers will not last for much longer and it is always very special to see them appear on those trees around the first of May.
Whichever way you choose to celebrate the frist day of May today, this very special day certainly reminds us all of the coming summer and of nature´s incredible bounty that awaits us in the next couple of weeks.
- Backing pan called LURCH Flexi Royal Blankenburg from "Lurch" (http://www.lurch.de)
Happy May Day, Andrea~ReplyDelete
your cake, as always, looks lovely and I'm sure is a delicious farewell to winter. I wish winter would give us her final farewell's in the Rockies. looks like one more day/night of snow with a low below 0 degrees C!
Happy May Day to you as well, Marilyn, and thanks so much for the kind comment. The first day of May is a public holiday here, stores are closed, so are the schools and the offices - so, there is time for a little celebratory cake in the afternoon and the weather has been simply wonderful, what more could we want.Delete
Beautiful photos, make me feel like sunshine even though it's raining here in NC today. Love your cake, than pan is awesome.ReplyDelete
Chris, thanks so much - how nice that you like the cake pan, I have not used it in a while but today it seemed perefect for our little May Day celebration in the garden.Delete
Andrea... That cake is stunning!!! The blooms on the trees are beautiful!!!! Wish we had some of those here in MIamiReplyDelete
Thank you so much, those cherry blossom certainly are special but unfortunately, they do not last all that long so we enjoy them while we can and make sure to take tons of pictures.Delete
Happy May Day! I remember celebrating it once in elementary school, when we were learning customs from different countries. Lovely photos.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Beth, May Day is is lovely reminder of all that is wonderful about late spring and the coming summer months.Delete
Happy may day ! The cake looks incredible :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much - so glad that you liked the look of the Lemon Buttermilk Bundt.Delete
Your lemon cake (and spring flowers) look fantastic! And here you go with another marvelous pan...so fun!ReplyDelete
PS. Thanks for your kind words of sympathy. xo
Thank you, Liz and you are more than welcome, sometimes it is hard for me to find the right words in English on such sad occasions but they always do come from the heart!Delete
what a gorgeous cake! And such lovely photos, so glad to have come across your blog!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Katie, I am gald to read that you enjoy the photos and my blog - I will hop over to take a look at your blog now - thanks for stopping by!Delete
I love your photographs! And that cake is beautifil - what a beautiful ddesign. Where do you get all the truyl unique cakepans/molds you use? Are they all antique, or are such wonderful one ssold where you live?ReplyDelete
May Day is not celebrated too much here in the U.S. Some people enjoy picnic and such, but it is not an official holiday. I recall that in nursery school and grammar school we celebrated and ha Maypoles, but other than that is is sadly neglected here. It looks like you had a wonderful day!
Adri, thank you so much for the nice comment - these cake molds are not antique but they were fashioned after very old cake pans that were discovered in a lovely castle - how is that for a nice story and it is true too. The German company that manufactures them unfortnately only makes two models these days but maybe we should encourage them to reconsider and produce more such unique cake pans!Delete
I know that you and your family must have had a wonderful day celebrating the 1st of May. Your lemon bundt cake is lovely...such a pretty shape and then decorated with the pansies.ReplyDelete
Karen, thank you so much, May Day is an important holiday around here and I always enjoy a lovely little party for and with the family that involves delightful light cakes and lots of flowers for decoration.Delete
I was thinking a lot regarding this topic, so thanks for bringing it up here. You certainly have a good writing style i like, so will be subscribing to your blog.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your kind comment - I am glad that you enjoy my blog and will be following along!Delete