Happy 1st of May to you all!
To begin with, I wanted to wish you all a good month and it is a tradition in my country to do so every 1st of every month. However, today, it’s a special day. And that is because we have a little tradition related to May.
On the 1st of May, Greece is celebrating Spring. The custom of Protomagia has its roots in ancient Greece.
Maios, that is May, the last month of Spring took its name from the Goddess Maja, a goddess who took her name from the ancient word Maia, the nurse and mother. May, according to Greek folklore, has two meanings: the good and the bad, rebirth and death. The custom celebrates the final victory of the summer against winter as the victory of the life against death go back at the ancient years. The day was also dedicated to the goddess of agriculture Dimitra and her daughter Persephone, who this day emerges from the Underworld and comes to earth. Her coming from Hades marks the blooming of nature and the birth of summer.
The custom of May 1st here is to decorate the doors of houses with flower wreaths in a way to welcome the power of nature into our homes. The wreath is made from various flowers, handpicked and knitted together. In some parts, people also add a garlic for the evil eye, a thorn to protect the house from enemies and an ear for good harvest. The wreaths adorn the doors of the houses, or the balconies in other cases, until the day of St. John the Harvester (24th of June), when all the wreaths of the neighborhood are gathered and burnt in a big fire.