You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Whitsum’ tag.

Some call this May Day. Depending on where you live, it could be International Workers’ Day or Labour Day. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries. Not many people are celebrating Beltane, so let’s mark that festival here.

Beltane is an ancient Celtic festival which came into English from the Gaelic word bealltainn which literally means “May First.”

Traditionally large bonfires would be lit to celebrate this transition from spring to summer and the fertility of all things. Cattle were driven through the Beltane bonfires for purification and fertility.

The annual Beltane Fire Festival held in Edinburgh, Scotland is the prime modern example.

Today, the neo-pagan community, often associated with the art of fire dancing, have also embraced the Beltane festivities.

In Wales, Creiddylad was a character connected with this festival and often called the May Queen. The maypole and its dance is a remnant of these old festivities.

In Finland, May 1 was celebrated as Rowan Witch Day, a time of honoring the goddess Rauni, who was associated with the mouton ash or rowan tree. Twigs and branches of the rowan were, and still are, used as protection against evil in this part of the world.

May Day is another name often given to this day. That derives from the Greek goddess Maia, the most important of the Seven Sisters (the Pleiades) and the mother of Hermes. From her, we get the name of this month. The Romans called her Maius, goddess of Summer, and honored her during Ambarvalia.

A maypole is a tall wooden pole erected as a part of various European folk festivals, around which a maypole dance often takes place. The festivals may occur on May Day or Pentecost (Whitsun), although in some countries it is instead erected at Midsummer.

May Day celebrations were continued by early European settlers to the American continent with May baskets filled with flowers or treats left secretly at someone’s doorstep. If the receiver catches the fleeing giver, a kiss is exchanged.

 

May Day basket

May Day basket

 

Visitors to Paradelle

  • 345,968

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,886 other followers

Follow Weekends in Paradelle on WordPress.com

Recent Photos on Flickr

crime scene

meditating turtle

2 pm by the sun

budding colors

fort

at the edge

More Photos

I Recently Tweeted…

Archives

On Instagram

This is about as much boogie down as you're going to get from me this weekend. Buds like gumballs.  #peony Tiger iris morning When I dip my tortilla chips into some baba ganoush, I feel like I'm uniting cultures.  Don't build walls; build bridges. Show a pansy (or viola) face to the world Some iris sunshine on a rainy day.
%d bloggers like this: