Thursday, May 1, 2014

 May 1st

May 1st is celebrated in different parts of the world as May Day in Great Britain, International Workers Day in USA, Spring Celebration Day in many parts of Europe,  Valborgsmässoafton in Sweden celebrated the night before,  Kevadpüha in Estonia ,  ziua bețivilor (drunkards' day) in Romania, Lei Day in Hawaii, the list is long.  At the beginning of the 20th century, it became a custom in France to give a sprig of lily of the valley on May 1st as a symbol of springtime Most importantly it is also Maharashtra Din in Mumbai - The day the state of Maharashtra was formed by the Bombay Reorganization Act, 1960  so it is a bank holiday !

But in our family we celebrated May Day for a reason much closer to home - it is my parents' Wedding Anniversary. For us kids (me and my brother) we knew that the day is not not only a holiday but it would be filled with chocolates and flowers, traditional recipes would be cooked for breakfast and lunch, a morning trip to the Fish Market to get the first catch of the day,  an inevitable last minute(!) trip to the jewelery and sari stores with my dad, a trip to the only Bengali Sweets store in town to get Mishti Doi . A busy day culminating in an evening of more fun and food at the restaurant of my mom's choice ( well, we tried to influence the decision). It never occurred to us they would want to do something together without us tagging along, we simply assumed it was a family celebration to be celebrated together ! If anyone dropped over to wish them, they would be all invited to stay for lunch or join us for dinner :)

Today on this rainy day there is emptiness in the air .....It is the first May 1st without my dad. A first of many firsts to come ....