Whatever you do, don’t sleep in Tuesday morning! Imagine this: it’s May 1 and, regardless of the day of the week, Grandma made sure our alarms were set so we wouldn’t sleep in and miss the morning dew! That’s right the dew.
There is an old tale that says that May dew has magic properties and anyone who has washed their face in it will have a beautiful complexion all year!
My sister and I didn’t have freckles, but, according to Grandma, this magic dew would also remove pimples and age spots. So, off we went!
There are a number of variations on this tradition that used to send young girls out to the garden to wash their faces in May dew.
One traditional rhyme says that the maid who rises early on May morning, “and washes in dew from the hawthorn tree, will ever after handsome be."
Others suggest that the dew had to be collected from ivy leaves, or from grass under oak trees.
Again, these beliefs vary from country to country, but there is one constant, and that’s the time of day! This magic elixir must be collected at sunrise.
I often wondered if that’s where the expression “a dewy complexion” came from.
There were times when I wondered if Grandma made up some of the superstitions she shared with us when we were kids. There were so many of them and some seemed rather unlikely. At the end of the day, it didn’t matter to my sister Monique and me. We got to spend a little more time with Grandma!
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.