Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"The little girls did laugh and play Upon that hot and sunny day Upon the grass the children lay Making daisy chains."
~ Andrew Blakemore
The world's longest daisy chain was made in 7 hours by villagers of Good Easter, Essex, England, in May 1985 and measured 1.32 miles!
Today celebrates the common daisy (Bellis perennis), also known as the lawn daisy, or English daisy. The name "daisy" is derived from an Old English word that means "day's eye," because the petals of daisies open at dawn and close at dusk. There are many varieties and regional species.
The English daisy (Bellis perennis) is also known as bruisewort or woundwort. In ancient Rome, surgeons accompanied Roman legions into battle with sacks full of daisies from which their juice would be extracted to bind sword wounds and spear cuts. The word bellum, Latin for "war", may be the origin of this plant's scientific name.
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, the "American" Daisy (though introduced from Europe), is commonly known as the ox-eye daisy, dog daisy or moon daisy. The large flowers are about 2 inches in diameter and appear all summer at the end of a single stalk shooting up to two feet from the basal rosette.
Chrysanthemum maximum, the Shasta daisy, was created through selective breeding and is similar to its ancestor, the ox-eyed daisy, but with larger flowers on longer stems.
Apart from the favorite love divination petal-plucking game of "he/she loves me, he/she loves me not,"another old fashioned pastime is to make daisy chains. One method of creating a daisy chain is to pick daisies and create a hole towards the base of the stem (such as with fingernails or tying a knot). The stem of the next flower can be threaded through until stopped by the head of the flower. Daisy chains should always have their ends joined when finished to represent the sun, the earth, and the circle of life.
It was once believed that dressing a child in a daisy chain would protect them from being stolen by the fairies.
In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, before Alice's adventures begin, she is sitting outside with her sister considering whether to make a daisy chain before being interrupted by a White Rabbit.
For more on daisy folklore, click the "The Daisy Chain" painting by Maude Goodmann, (1844-1936)