The Month of May in the book of art: Book of Hours of Joanna I of Castile (also known as Joanna the Insane)
Some festivities in late Spring, of pre-Christian origin, such as the ancient floralia, lacked any religious elements but were usually very popular amongst the population in general, particularly those at the beginning of May, deemed to be a time of renewal of life and love. It was customary for young people to go to the country or a nearby wood on the first of May to cut green branches to decorate their houses, streets and even people or certain utensils with in order to celebrate the rebirth of spring. They went out in boats and returned playing the lute and the recorder.
In the image, all of the elements of locus amoenus - meadows, water, trees – which favour loving relationships appear. In the middle ground, some nobles practice the art of falconry. Falcon hunting is of oriental origin, although it came to become of the nobility´s favourite pastimes.
In the medallions, one can see Philip the Apostle, James, Son of Alphaeus, and the miraculous discovery of the Cross.
Carlos Miranda García-Tejedor
Doctor in History