A Feast for Beltane and May Day

May 1 traditionally has been celebrated as Beltane by Gaels and Celts; May Day has also been celebrated among Germanic and other pagan cultures. It splits the year between the vernal equinox and summer solstice, and incorporates themes of fertility, and the beginning of summer.  May Queens are crowned, and doorways and windows are decorated with flowers. Lighting bonfires is believed to bestow special protective powers over livestock and crops, and dances around maypoles festively bedecked with ribbon ritualize the quickening desire symbolized by the turning of the wheel of the year toward the height of summer.

May Day, too, is International Workers’ Day, observed in many countries around the world – including Russia, land of my ancestors, in honor of the international labor movement.

To honor all of these traditions, we work in our garden and till the soil we’ve coddled all spring. Chard, beets, and herbs like cilantro, mint, basil, and parsley burgeon in the strong sun. B. and I dig and harvest until we’re covered with sweat, a joyous labor done in remembrance – always – of my beloved mother, who adored working in the garden and being in nature, and in celebration of life.



About thislittleplot

Writer, hiker, loafer
This entry was posted in Garden, Nature, Seasons and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Feast for Beltane and May Day

  1. Janet Parker says:

    Are the pics plants from your garden? Beautiful! Lovely words about your mother. Phoebe and I loved seeing you yesterday.

  2. TIme flies, is all I can think. But thanks for slowing in it down so it can be appreciated…

  3. owlwoman says:

    My favourite season is Winter, but Spring comes a close second, and Beltane always brings hope for the coming year.

  4. Utherben says:

    Happy Beltane, friend. The plants are looking good and healthy (especially that chard!); glad to hear you & B. spent quality time digging in the dirt, connecting with ancestors and the seasons.

  5. Chris Stevens says:

    Chard and beets look great! I’m envious of the beets.

  6. Very nice blog! Keep up the good work!

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