May Day Wreaths / Στεφάνι 1η Μάιου

In Cyprus (and I’m sure, other countries as well) there is the long-established folk tradition of making flower wreaths as a celebration of spring and to mark the first day of May… You pick flowers to make a ‘stefani’ that hangs on your door until it dries.

Nowadays you see them in shops made from artificial flowers and while we didn’t do the important part of walking in the fields and picking the flowers ourselves (instead, buying them from a florist), we did make the wreath on our own. It may be the end of April (and not the first of May) and our flowers are already dry (being ‘Athanata/Αθανατα’, meaning ‘everlasting’) but we’re really pleased with the result. You could go for a walk by the beach and find some Athanata growing along the rocky coastline but we generally prefer not to pick wild flowers.

I already had the wicker wreath in my craft-supplies hoard and we bought 3 large bunches of Athanata in different shades. My eight-year old daughter did the majority of the work, while my four-year old son cut the bunches in to more manageable strands for her to work with. She wove the strands in to the wreath, choosing a lovely balance of colours as she went along. She only needed a little help finishing it at the end.

It’s now hanging on our front door and wonderfully compliments the purple paintwork of our rented house.

If you can’t find a wicker wreath, one made from florist’s oasis would work equally well (and would be even easier for little ones to do themselves).

We’ve since made some smaller versions, hung with yellow ribbon to give as gifts for Easter. And we spied some lovely lavender and wheat stalks in the florist the other day which would also make lovely wreaths, albeit not so colourful ones.

 Happy May Day Crafting everyone!


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