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Friday, April 25, 2008

Beltane, the Festival of Fire

A Happy Festival of Beltane to you all!

The festival of Beltane is April 30th, the eve of May Day. It is a fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year. Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season when the herds of livestock were driven out to the summer pastures and mountain grazing lands

Beltane rituals would often include courting: for example, young men and women collecting blossoms in the woods and lighting fires in the evening. These rituals would often lead to matches and marriages, either immediately in the coming summer or autumn.

Guests at my Beltane Festival Party

My Beltane Festival party last year


Blogger Shrinky said...

Is that you I see in the thick of that scrummage?

Sod the wood nymphs, I'm coming alone (I take it I won't need to pack very much?)

1:32 pm  
Blogger simon said...

crikey mate, I asked you not to post that photo of me with the red paint!!!

2:04 am  
Blogger Magdalene said...

It appears to me that several people at this party may have consumed one or two ales. I hope they all had sufficiently warm cardies for afterwards?

11:27 am  
Anonymous merisi said...

I noticed that you do not give any indication of when and where the party will be held this year. *Question Mark*

11:47 am  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

One day to go, and I expect you will be joining the May Day wood nymphs at 6am too, I expect nothing less of you, with or without clothes ;-)

9:06 pm  
Blogger Rob Hopcott said...

In my local area we celebrate May Day (1st May) with a Hobby Horse dancing around the streets.

The kids love challenging the horse and I used to be one of the musicians who walked behind the Hobby Horse playing the tune hundreds of times in the course of the day on my flute as we patrolled our West Somerset area.

Sadly, the streets are very dangerous these days for kids to play in and for Hobby Horses to dance.

I've seen cars driving at 40 mph closely past the construction of rags and boughs that is the traditional Hobby Horse. People in the horse have very little visibility which makes this practice very dangerous.

The police have quite reasonably imposed restrictions. But it is not the same to wear a high visibility yellow jacket as it is to wear the rag clothes called 'tatters'.

Rather than spend hours fearful of an accident, I now no longer 'follow the horse' but, each year, when I hear the drums beat, I am saddened I am not there with them.

It occurs to me that community is very important but that we spend too little time thinking about how to bring our people together and too much time making the world convenient for motorised vehicles.

10:21 pm  
Blogger Maalie said...

Thanks for comments everyone!

It's tonight! 8pm at Maalie Court, then down to the beach for bonfire! Entrance fee = bottle apricot schnapps!

10:52 am  

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