Our Beltane table top adornment cut from study card stock.
May Day, also called Beltane, is an ancient Scottish Gaelic spring celebration. It marks the mid point in the sun's journey from Spring Equinox to Summer Solstice. It is the time when we travel from winter into the fullness of spring. This is when we sew our crops and pray for a good harvest come fall.
The date for the holiday varies from May 1st, to the full moon falling nearest to the 1st of May, which is called Lunar Beltane. Traditions from Beltane include dancing around the May Pole (which was often made from the past year's Winter Solstice tree) and wreaths of flowers adorning one's hair.
Bonfires are often lit at this festival and jumping over them is a cleansing ritual for the upcoming year. Beltane is also when the veil between the world of the faeries and our world is at it's thinnest so this is a time for faerie sightings, faeries hunts, and other such merriment.
A somewhat cross or puzzled Avington stands near our blooming onion patch.
For those of us who live close to the land we are seeing the return of some of our crops and we are planting others, watching the nightly freeze reports to see when we may finally put our starts into the ground.
The children's chalk art on one of our gates.
Much outside decoration takes place this year. Bright colors, paints, ribbons and flowers all mark the return of bright blue skies after winter's long greyness.
The Faerie Queen
Some ideas for celebrating Beltane include:
- A trip to your local plant shop to purchases starts for the new year
- Saying a blessing over your starts or over your garden space. Thanking our Heavenly Father for His blessings and asking for an abundant year.
- Tying ribbon, buttons, and other pretty things to trees and bushes in hopes of attracting faeries.
- Building faerie homes in your garden from sticks, rocks, mud etc.
- Erecting a May Pole, here's how.
- Making a flower garland, here's how.
- Attending your local Farmer's Market which usually hosts it's opening day around the first of May
- Having a family camp out in your backyard with a camp fire if possible and a greeting of the rising sun in the morning.
- Reading or reciting this Christian liturgy for Beltane.
- Reading Genesis and discussing how God created all the plants and fruit trees.
Dancing the May Pole
Relevant Scriptures for Beltane:
Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Isaiah 60:21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
Matthew 15: 12-13 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
This Beltane article is cross posted on my personal blog, A Wise and Glorious Purpose.