Sunday, May 01, 2011


It's the first of May!  It's a traditional holiday in the UK and yet another old celtic one.  It's a fire and fertility festival and is held to mark the coming of summer.

Sometimes spelt Beltane, it's that day of the year where you get the young maidens of the village to dance around a giant pole, singing to it and bedecking it with ribbons.  Cos it's a phallus substitute.  I have been wondering why we don't traditionlly dance around a hole in the ground, or a cave opening or something as a womb substitute, but I have not yet found any literature which explains this.

Anyway, May 1st (or the nearest Monday to it) is a a bank holiday in the UK, so most of us get the day off work.  Having said that, today is a Sunday, so if I choose to get boozed up tonight I shall have tomorrow to recover (hurrah!).

The name Beltane apparently comes from the celtic Sun God Bel, he is a being of light and fire and he impregnates the earth.  At this time of year all the fresh new veg is coming through and for folk like me who try to buy food in season it means that I get a sudden expansion of my diet.  This week, I have been eating asparagus.  Spring veg is great!

We've been having delightful weather recently and I'm hoping it will have continued until Mayday.  So all of you, enjoy the day, enjoy the changing of the year, eat some nice food and if you're UK bound, enjoy Monday off work!  Happy Beltane all :)


Rachel said...

Happy Beltaine! I always enjoy these posts of yours - thank you.

We went punting this afternoon and I couldn't help comparing the punt pole with the May pole. Unfortunately the punt was a little too small for any dancing around it.

Saranga said...

Thanks Rachel. I'm hoping to go punting next time I'm in Cambridge, but I think we'll hire someone to do the driving. Last tiem we were tried it we lost the punting stick..

SallyP said...

And a happy Beltane to you.