May Day Flowers: A pagan tradition brings positive health

May Day Flowers: A pagan tradition brings positive health

Photo courtesy of April Killingsworth/flickr

SAN DIEGO, April 28, 2015 — May Day, which originated in the Northern Hemisphere during pre-Christian times,  began as a celebration of spring and fertility.

Photo courtesy of Ron Cogswell/flickr
Photo courtesy of Ron Cogswell/flickr

May Day occurs May 1 and was celebrated historically in a variety of ways: traditional festivities, dancing, maypoles, bonfires, food and drink, and profuse floral decorations.

May Day is an opportunity to bring the global community together to experience the promise of spring while reveling in the beauty it holds, uniting us all through its splendor.

“The world’s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.”
—Edwin Way Teale

One of the most beautiful displays of springtime, as it signals the passage of winter, is the proliferation of beautiful springtime flowers.

Colorful, fragrant blossoms from the lily of the valley, peony, daisy, sweet pea, lilac, buttercup, bells of Ireland and more fill the world with incredible beauty.

Just as flowers were used as May Day decorations during pagan times, the tradition continues today, decorating homes, parties, maypoles, baskets, leis and crowns.

Leaving a floral basket anonymously on someone’s doorstep is considered a sign of affection, especially for shut-ins or one who is secretly admired.

The article “An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotions: Flowers,” published in “Evolutionary Psychology,” states that for over 5,000 years people have been cultivating flowers in spite of the costliness.

Therefore, “We suggest that cultivated flowers are rewarding because they have evolved to rapidly induce positive emotions in humans.”

Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart/flickr
Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart/flickr

A research study led by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., professor of Psychology at Rutgers University, concluded that flowers have an immediate impact on feelings of happiness which transcend gender and age.

Additionally, flowers reduce agitation and depression.

“Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy…Now science shows us…they have strong positive effects on our emotional well being,” says Haviland-Jones.

It seems that the “flower power” slogan from the 1960s conveyed far more wisdom than ever before imagined.

Though considered the hippie era, associated with a time of youthful rebellion, the generation of flower children was conveying a message of peace and love to a world unable to fully hear them.

For this coming May Day, the global community has the opportunity to not only determine what type of flower power it wishes to experience, but also how.

Reconnecting with the beauty of spring and the grace that nature inspires could bring an innate sense of inner peace and happiness to the global community.

An inspired sense of renewal and hope is requisite for coming together to solve the many political, economical and social problems of the day, which will impact future generations for many years to come.

“Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.” —Kahlil Gibran

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized educator and expert in home and community-based, long-term care services.

In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the president and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2015 by At Your Home Familycare

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Laurie Edwards-Tate
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today. Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home. Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. Follow Laurie and AYHF at; on Facebook at, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare