Tag Archives: Protomaia

Feasting on Flowers to Celebrate the Month of May

1 May

flower

Kalo mina! It’s the first day of May–or as we Greeks call it, Protomaia or the Feast of the Flowers. Here in New York it’s been a long, long winter. Every time it started to warm up, it would start snowing. After we had one big snowstorm, a robin, that ephemeral symbol of spring, chirped on top of a construction rod as if to say it was tired of the cold weather too. Now, at last the days are longer, and pink flowers are blooming in Spanish Harlem.

During the winter, people always tell me that they’re sure I must wish I was in Greece during the cold season. Yes, we have palm trees in Greece–my dad is obsessed with plants!–but the country doesn’t have a tropical climate year-round. It actually snowed in Greece this year, as you can see from Yannis Behrakis’ stunning photos of a snow-topped Acropolis.

Perhaps this year, more than ever, Greeks are celebrating May Day. Traditionally heralded by picnics and flower collecting, Protomaia announces the start of spring. And with spring comes rebirth. A new beginning. A fresh start.

We could all use that.

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