02 May May Day
A May Vacation in Greece
Although we’re not able to travel right now due to COVID-19, I am looking through these pictures of a trip to Greece we took 9 years ago at the beginning of May and it always brings back happy memories. We were in Santorini on May 1, 2011, and made our way through this insanely breathtaking island with a tiny rental car. We stopped and had a couple of delicious appetizers at a restaurant on Black Sand Beach and enjoyed watching this family make wreaths with fresh flowers. We learned that it was a holiday for them while we were on their island. This made being in Santorini all the more special. This day every year reminds me of this gorgeous memory in Greece. I have put wreaths with flowers on our front door every year since this trip. This year, I put our preserved boxwood wreaths on our front doors along with faux peonies because I didn’t have a chance to get fresh flowers. Hope this inspires you to put out a May wreath with flowers for your front door.
The Feast of Flowers
Protomagia is the Greek word meaning May Day, the first of May. This first day of May is a holiday observed in Greece, Labor Day. May Day also corresponds with the peak of the flower season and there are many flower shows and festivals on this day in Greece. On the island of Crete in the city of Heraklion, they have put on a city flower show for the past few thousand years.
On May Day, a very common tradition is the making of a May wreath out of the local wildflowers which are then hung on doorways, balconies, chapels, and more. Some are left to dry and then burned around the time of the Summer Solstice, St John the Harvester’s Feast day, on June 24th.
When we first arrived in Santorini, I thought the cliffs were covered in Snow! But as we got closer I saw these were all white buildings and homes. Once we got up to the top of the cliffs, we began to walk through many villages and saw the most beautifully colored doors and homes, blue domed buildings, white churches and windmills.
Of course I took pictures of any dogs I saw. This one dog was so pretty and had the sweetest face. I had to take a quick snapshot of her.
We decided to rent a bright red compact car and explored Santorini. We stopped along the way to take a few pictures.
Once we arrived at Black Sand Beach, we walked around on the beach and found a restaurant on the ocean to eat a couple of snacks. It was late afternoon and the restaurant was not busy.
Bart and I ordered and ate the most delicious, fresh appetizers of Greek fava bean dip and octopus.
While we were at this idyllic restaurant on the beach, we watched the owners of the restaurant along with their beautiful Greek family making wreaths with fresh flowers in them. They would place each wreath on all of the tables. It was so peaceful to watch them as they enjoyed this time together.
This day every year reminds me of this gorgeous memory in Greece.
Making May Day Wreaths
I have enjoyed making May Day wreaths every year since this trip. It brings back so many beautiful memories. This year I chose to make wreaths with supplies I had on hand at the house.
Supplies I used to make our May Day Wreaths:
- Larger Boxwood Wreath (18″ – 22″)
- Faux Pink Peonies
I love using my preserved boxwood wreaths throughout the year for different occasions. The wreaths have a beautiful green color that stand out on the front door and look like they are fresh boxwood wreaths.
Click HERE for 21.2″ Boxwood Wreath
I took two bunches of faux pink peonies (5 stems are in each bunch) and pulled the flowers away from the stems. They easily come apart and also go back into the stem. The flower heads have wire that help to keep them in the stem securely, which also makes them perfect to pin just the flower heads securely into the boxwood wreath in different spots.
These wreaths are simple to put together and provide happy memories of our trip in Greece.
These pictures above are all taken by me and Bart from our personal trip…some may not be the best photos.