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Title: May Dolls
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From: USA
Registered: 11/21/2008

(Date Posted:02/19/2009 00:20 AM)
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May Dolls
By Raven Grimassi
The May doll still appears in May celebrations, although with less frequency over the past century.  The May doll's origin is traceable to the Roman celebrations of the goddess Flora, associated with the month of May. 
 On May 1st, images of the May goddess were once carried in ceremonial processions.  In many parts of Europe a tradition arose in which the May doll was carried from house to house.  The face of the doll was hidden by a piece of lace or a white handkerchief.  The householders were asked if they would like to see the May doll, the May lady, or the queen of May.  If they replied yes, they were expected to pay for the privilege, and only after a gift had been made to the bearers was the covering removed and the luck-bringing face displayed to viewers. 
 Young girls went about the villatge in pairs or in groups of three, carrying a garland with a veiled doll in the  center, and singing verses of the traditional May song of their district.  Like so many of the old customs and traditions, this one has also disappeared over the years.
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