A May wreath

Gathering wild flowers? Chopping the last of the lilac blossoms off the bush, or picking the first roses? Stealing from the neighbor’s garden or buying bunches of tulips from the roadside stand?

Everything goes when it comes to making the May wreath, a tradition dear to Greeks. Some add olive or laurel branches, and a head of garlic, to ward off the evil eye. The wreaths will adorn front doors and balcony railings, slowly drying up until the time comes to burn them on bonfires on Saint John’s day (June 23rd). Family and friends will jump over the embers for good luck.


I wrote about the traditions of May 1rst last year, as a guest on Solveig Werner’s blog. For new followers, you can read about it here.

This year I painted a splashy wreath to wish you all Kalo Mina, as we say (it means ‘have a nice month’).

36 thoughts on “A May wreath”

  1. Dear Mrs Kappa,

    The St John’s day is on June 24th . Αη Γιαννη του πηδηχτη, που πηδανε τις φωτιες.

    I know that well, because it is also a Catholic saint’s day and Janos has celebrated his nameday then.

    Lately, Janos has changed faiths, so to speak, and celebrates on January 7th like the rest of the Greek Johns.



  2. What a lovely tradition – I wonder what some of those wreaths look like by the time comes to burn them though after being exposed to that Greek sun for all that time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Marina for this beautiful painting of the colourful Wreath of May! Isn’t that beautiful. I did write about the month of May too, just posted two days ago. I mentioned about the “Lilly of the Valley.” Flowers are beautiful, I cannot live without them, they are a must in my home.


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