Tag Archives: May Day celebrations

The Spray of May

Bremerblog

The hawthorn is one of Britain’s most beloved native trees. Actually, it is two trees: the common hawthorn Cratægus monogyna and the midland hawthorn Cratægus lævigata. Commonly found in hedgerows as well as free-standing, the hawthorn holds a time-honoured place in British history as a symbol of May and by extension springtime and rebirth. When spring begins, its subtle warmth coaxing the first verdant shoots out of the earth, the hawthorn begins to bedeck itself again with leaves shed half a year earlier. Buds form, poised to create a delight of British springtime: the May.

‘May’ is a folk name for the gorgeous white raiment that adorns the hawthorn, typically from mid-spring to early autumn. The spray of flowers is so closely associated with the month of May, almost always blooming at the start of that month, that it shares its name with it. The impact of seeing the…

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