My brother used to have a book about May Day – a whole lot of little white mice and puzzles, and it ended with a celebration.
The real reason to celebrate May Day, though? It’s the day on which Howl’s Moving Castle really begins: the day when Sophie and Howl meet, and Sophie learns about Martha and Lettie’s switcheroo.
So! How to celebrate May Day?
Couldn’t be easier. You could wear grey, as Sophie does… but let’s get in the spirit of things. Wear blue, like Lettie (er, Martha), or blue and silver, like Howl. Get yourself out of doors and into the thick of things: enjoy the festivities. If there aren’t any festivities, make your own. Brightly coloured decorations and confetti should do the trick.
Eat a cream cake. Reveal a secret to a family member, preferably a sister. This part takes guts, but it doesn’t have to be a big secret. Something about yourself that you want your sister to know will do the trick. Spend time with somebody who reminds you of your noblest characteristics when you’ve forgotten who you are.
Meet somebody new – say hi to a stranger. Buy a drink for a friend, or, if you’re like me, make a drink for a friend (one hot chocolate with whipping cream, coming right up). Be gentle with someone who is shy; if you are shy, dare to be bold for an hour.
That’s May Day.
Also, May Day is Michael Fisher’s birthday. Celebrate with fireworks and cake. (Any excuse for a cake, right?) Consider settling down and having ten children. (Ha ha.) Be loyal to your friends and your sweetheart. Try your hardest at a task assigned to you. Put on seven-league boots and try to keep up with your grandmother. Go and catch a falling star.