"Maybaskets"


Most people have heard of maybaskets. They might have heard of someone gathering flowers and leaving them on a doorstep for a neighbor on the first day of the May--not in Maine.

Although the tradition is dying down, Mainers play extreme maybaskets. They don't just play them on May 1st, but all month long. They don't just leave a small bouquet on the doorstep of a nice lady, ring the doorbell, and hide; it's much more than that!

First they choose a friend or neighbor. (Often it would be a highschool graduate or newcomer to the area, but it could be anyobdy! If you weren't in on the whispering, then it was probably going to be you. But, you didn't know when, so you kept your running shoes on.) Then they'd decorate a container (a milk carton or shoebox) with bright tissue paper and ribbons and fill it with candy. Next, they'd sneak up on your house--the fastest runner was designated to knocking on the door. They had to wait for an answer to announce who the basket was for. (Hopefully, you were ready or they'd be long gone before you got your shoes on.)

Then the group hanging the basket would scatter all over the neighborhood. There was sometimes a boundary set, but not too close to the house. You needed a few pastures and woods and streams to make it really fun. Anyone you caught helped the victim catch the others. Traditionally, when a boy caught a girl, he'd kiss her; so sometimes you'd let yourself be caught by one special person. Most times, an hour after sunset (around 9 PM) it was understood that all the ones not caught would return for a share in the candy and fun, if there was any left.

These maybasket games were a wonderful part of my teen years. We all had stories of near captures and sported scrapes and bruises. Spring was in the air, and it was a wonderful way to enjoy it.

Go to Dancing Barefoot for more memory stories at Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane.

8 comments:

Sally-Ann said...

What fun! That sounds like a good traditon to hang on to!!

"Lolli" said...

How fun is that! I wish we had known about that when I was a child! i LOVE that idea! Thanks for sharing!

Blessings on your day,

Lolli (aka Lisa)

Love Abounds At Home said...

I've never heard of Maybaskets. I like the idea of receiving and giving a Maybasket.

Linda said...

Yvonne, My husband and I were just discussing "May Baskets". He is from Nebraska, and he said they filled them with candy. I am from Calif., and five years younger than he is,..and we just filled them with flowers, hung them on the doorknob, and rang the doorbell and then ran. We would watch from afar as they found the May Basket.

It was always fun. I don't remember my kids doing the May Baskets,...nor do I hear of it today. Do you suppose it has gone by the wayside?

I enjoyed the memory.
Thanks!
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

HappyascanB said...

How fun! Cute story!!!

Lilyofthevalley - Tanya said...

That sounds like fun! Thanks for sharing! :)

Holly said...

Interesting! I have never heard of maybaskets or these games. They sound fun!

Lynnette Kraft said...

Too bad we don't do May Baskets anymore. It sounds like so much fun! Just my type of thing.

I'm glad you were able to enjoy it though! :)

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