|May Blossom - Hawthorn - If you wish to use my photos please attribute this blog.|
[I hope these are about Devon, anyway - with Hewett she is infuriatingly spartan with place references, and occasionally includes stuff from other counties - so treat with care...]
"There were, and still are, numerous superstitions attached to the merry month of May. Marriages taking place in May are supposed to bring ill-luck to the contracting parties. Cats born in this month are regarded as unpleasant creatures to have about one, as the practice of bringing into the house snakes, toads, and other objectionable vermin is ascribed to them.
May-dew, collected before or close upon sun-rise, is looked upon as an infallible beautifier of the complexion. Young girls arose early to wash their faces in it with the hope that their charms would be increased. On returning from the fields they would gather branches of hawthorn bloom, and suspend it over the entrance to the house, to protect it and themselves from the spells of witches and the evil eye.
On the first of May, persons were sent on ridiculous errands, and on their return, empty handed, were derisively addressed as May giize-chicks, or May goslings."