Celebrating May Day at Curam Care Homes

Young girl placing decoration on May Bush at Oakfield Nursing Home in Wexford

The month of May is celebrated as the start of Summer and the arrival of finer weather.  In Ireland there are a number of traditions and customs that are associated with the start of May that are continued in some of our care homes.

May Bush

A May Bush is a decorated bush that is erected outside a home or on a community green to ward off bad luck.

A whitethorn or gorse bush was traditionally used for the May Bush, which would be decorated with bunches of May flowers like primroses and bluebells, as well as ribbons, tinsel, painted eggshells and even candles.  

Recently our Oakfield Nursing Home had the pleasure of a visit from Rachel and John from the Gorey Maybush Feile.  The Gorey Maybush Feile is an intergenerational project surrounding the May Bush tradition and the welcoming of Summer in Co. Wexford.  Oakfield residents enjoyed a wonderful morning sharing stories of May traditions from their own childhood, singing some great songs as well as folklore about May.  It was great to hear the similarities that came up of how residents from Co. Dublin and those from Co. Wexford celebrated May.

Rachel and John from Gorey Maybush Feile visit the residents of Oakfield Nursing Home

On May Day residents and staff enjoyed decorating their own May Bush, helping to keep the tradition alive and well.

Decorating the May Bush at Oakfield Nursing Home Gorey Wexford

Decorating the May Bush at Oakfield Nursing Home Gorey Co. Wexford

Decorating the May Bush at Oakfield Nursing Home Gorey Co. Wexford

Decorating the May Bush at Oakfield Nursing Home Gorey Co. Wexford

Our Knockrobin Hill Care Home also celebrated the beginning of May.  They shared stories of their own May Day traditions and folklore from their childhood.

They also created and decorated their own May Bush.

Decorating the May Bush  at Knockrobin Hill Care Home in Wicklow Town

Decorating the May Bush in Knockrobin Hill Care Home Wicklow Town

May Altar

Another May tradition being celebrated at Oakfield is the May Altar.  The month of May has long been associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ireland.  In the past many homes would create an altar and decorate it with wildflowers like bluebells, primroses and marsh marigolds, along with items of devotion such as rosary beads or a statue.

Below are some pictures of the May Altars at Oakfield.

May Alter at Oakfield Nursing Home in Gorey Co. Wexford

May Alter at Oakfield Nursing Home Gorey Co. Wexford

 

May Altar at Oakfield Nursing Home Gorey Co. Wexford