May Day ~ Beltane
As we progress through the beautiful Spring season, we are welcoming more life, color, & growth coming back into the world around us. We can see this change flourishing right before our eyes as the days feel longer, the sun sets later, the sky looks brighter, & the weather feels warmer. At the beginning of the season we could catch small signs of new life coming about, but now we can officially say the Earth & nature around us has been reborn. With May 1st being right around the corner, we are officially reaching the midpoint of Spring!
May 1st is commonly known as May Day, the day that marks the halfway point between the Spring Equinox & Summer Solstice. May Day is rooted with agriculture, celebrating the sown seeds that are beginning to sprout. This holiday is recognized in many cultures & beliefs around the world. It is a day that represents unity, togetherness, & rebirth. A day for everyone to come together to celebrate life, the sacred elements, the beauty of nature, & Mother Earth. It is a significant time of the seasonal changes we experience & observe - flowers blooming, trees returning to life, birds singing, climate changing, & animals coming out of hibernation.
May Day comes from Gaelic origin, being one of the four ancient Celtic astronomical holidays. Its original Celtic name is known as “Beltane”, the Gaelic word meaning “bright fire”. It is recognized as a fire festival & a spring celebration, brightly represented with yellow May flowers & ribbons. This celebration is usually accompanied with dancing, singing, feasting, festivals, fire rituals, & decorating homes or animals.
In earlier days, it was believed that washing your face with dew on the first day of May brings one great luck, prosperity, love, & a youthful appearance. Many people would also spend this day visiting special wells in hopes of bringing beauty & rejuvenation from the water. In many homes, villagers would decorate with maypoles & wreaths, symbolizing fertility.
Because this holiday has been recognized for decades by various countries, cultures, & people, the traditions & celebrations of May Day have changed throughout time. Although the festivities can differ from person to person, the meaning behind this day remains the same, people coming together as one to honor Mother Earth & welcome the beauty of nature.
How Can I Celebrate Beltane?
Make a Flower Crown
Gather Flowers to Decorate the Home
Build a Flower Basket or May Basket
Honor the Day with Yellow Ribbons & Flowers
Dance around Trees or Outdoors
Give Gratitude to Earth, Nature, & Life
Make a Maypole & Dance around it
Gift Neighbors or Loved Ones Flowers or Treats
Start a Bonfire, Perform a Fire Ritual, or Light a Candle
Spend Time Appreciating Nature
Work with Healing Crystals (such as Aventurine, Moss Agate, Carnelian)
Sing, Dance, & Feast with Loved Ones
More Interesting Facts about Beltane:
Dancing around a Maypole invites growth, blessings, & healthy relationships.
Some say the Maypole symbolizes a Tree, being tall, straight, sturdy, grounded, & healthy.
May Day has roots with the festival of Floralia honoring the season, Floralia is the Roman Goddess of Springtime.
The themes revolving around this holiday are Growth, Fertility, Protection, Love, Creativity, Empowerment, & Initiative.
In Hawaii, this holiday is known as Lei Day, & it celebrates the aloha spirit & giving of the flower.
Beltane celebrates fertility & the union between the God & Goddess.
Earth energies are at their strongest at this time, offering abundance to burst through life.
Popular symbols of this holiday include Fire & the Sun, representing the actual fire of the sun returning to shine brightly upon us.
This is also a beautiful day to do any practices of Herbalism or use any healing herbs.
It is believed that Fairies are especially active during Beltane & according to Folklore it is important that we treat them well.