Celebrating May Day
Maypole Dancing on Village Green
May Day Is A Holiday That Dates Back to the Celts of Western Europe
May Day is a traditionn which dates back to the pre-Christian Celts of western Europe. Originally, May Day was an ancient pagan holiday celebrating the start of summer. In Gaelic traditions, it is known as Beltaine or Beltane.
The Celtic May Day honored deities of the natural world with traditions that are still practiced by some people today. Even though this is an ancient tradition, different groups have adapted the celebration to their specific cultures or beliefs.
Some people still celebrate May Day.. Will you? Please share if and how you celebrate this day in the Comments below.
May Day is a traditional holiday in many cultures. Many May Day revelers celebrate the season by dancing around a wooden May pole. It's an old Celtic custom which symbolizes Spring and the fertility of nature.
Weaving The Ribbons
Weaving: Verna Gates, a Special Instructor at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, tells us that, just as we do today, the ancient Celts would tie strips of cloth to the top of the May pole, weaving the fabric into braids as they danced.
"Weaving was a very important aspect of the May celebrations. You would weave the ribbons because you can take two strands of something and make another element out of it. And that's what you were doing in fertility was taking two and making three. And so they would dance around the may pole and some said that that was a time of courtship. You didn't marry in May, but you started the courtship in May and you married at Halloween."
Celebrate May Day
Enjoy May Day by doing something that gives you great pleasure. Try to be outdoors all day if you can. Let your natural joy find its best outlet!
May Day Plan
Will you celebrate May Day?
May Day festivities, Forest Glen, Md.
This book has photographs and artwork scattered throughout as well as some activities for celebration.
From May Day to Harvest - Celebrating the Journey of the Sun
In Celebrating the Journey of the Sun, the chapter "The Games of May" includes information on how May revels were celebrated, the festivities and rites, of fairies, and how to make a May Day garland.
Rituals of May Day
Ritual helps up deal with the chaos of life.
This book is "a great tool for developing a personal relationship to ritual,"
Rituals of Celebration
This is the book I use to learn to create a deeper experience in my life. Try The Wheel of the Year for yourself and your community using Sacred Celebrations and rituals.
"...craft projects that go hand-in-hand with each festival—perfect ideas for artistic expression whether you are practicing alone, with a group, or celebrating with children."
Dancing Around the May Pole
Have you ever danced around a May Pole?
Dance Around The Maypole
"We forget that they believed in tree spirits. When you say knock on wood, that's an old, old Celtic custom that says 'tree spirit, come out and give me luck.' And they very much believed in the power of these tree spirits and it was quite a ritual to the young men to go out and collect the tree and to bring it back and to decorate it. And they would have a very structured dance around the May pole."
~~Jim Metzner, from Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History
Vanessa Redgrave - The Lusty Month of May - From the musical film Camelot
This is the song "The Lusty Month of May" from the 1967 musical film "Camelot" starring Richard Harris as King Arthur with Vanessa Redgrave as the beautiful Queen.
Camelot celebrates its 45th anniversary with the Blu-ray debut on April 24th, 2012.
Camelot With Richard Harris And Venessa Redgrave - Blu-ray 1967
"so corny you've got to love it" Rich Cline
This medieval tale recounts the story of King Arthur who seeks to establish a peaceful state by gathering together a force of knights. It's the story of the marriage of England's King Arthur to Guinevere. This feature won Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction and Best Musical Score, as well as garnishing nominations for Best Sound and Best Cinematography.
Camelot celebrated its 45th anniversary with the Blu-ray debut on April 24th, 2012.
Month of May
"The advent of the merry month of May was a time of great celebration, when summer was welcomed by men blowing on cow-horns. Girls rose early to bathe their faces in the May morning dew, which was held to have curative and beauty properties. Blankets soaked in May dew were thought to be able to cure sick children wrapped in them. Wells were able to grant wishes on May Day. ... (But) Fairies are abroad today so don't leave your baby unattended lest it be kidnapped and replaced by a changeling." ~
Fairies are abroad today so don't leave your baby unattended lest it be kidnapped and replaced by a changeling. ~Brian Day
Fairy Legends And Traditions Of The South Of Ireland - 1838
This is a reproduction of a historic book published before 1923.
Do You Believe in Fairies?
May Day by Azure Bleu
Return of the Sun:
"Beltain is the third and last of the spring festivals. It is a Cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun's progress between the Vernal Equinox and Summer Solstice. The astronomical date for this midpoint is slightly later, around May 5 depending on the year."
Beltain - All Saints' Day
May Day is exactly a half-year from November 1. In the traditions of Northern and Western Europe, All Saints' Day marks the end of the uncomfortable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere. This day "has always been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations, regardless of the political or religious establishment."
Read More About Beltain
- Beltane - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Samhain & Beltain: the two gates of the Celtic Year
SAMHAIN & BELTAIN THE TWO GATES OF THE CELTIC YEAR by Andrada of Vanthe copyright 1999 Those of us who follow the traditions of Northern and Western Europe are aware of the ancient two-fold division of the year, named Samhain and Beltain by
Celtic Holiday of Beltain
Do you celebrate Beltain?
This book contains details of more than 450 customs of the Irish, Manx, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, and Breton Celts.
Celtic Folk Customs
This book is an easy-to-follow day-by-day guide of Celtic folk culture today. It features the celebrations, ceremonies, feasts, dances, games, crafts and superstitions which, together with many other aspects of folklore. Learn more about such Celtic festivals as Beltane and Lughnasa. It also contains an array of old recipes for different times of the year.
These DVDs feature location footage, authentic re-enactments and dramatized reconstructions.
3 DVDs tell the story of the Celtic lands of Britain, the great events, stories, myths and traditions which shaped Celtic Britain.
Read More About May Day On These Sites
- A Forgotten Tradition: May Basket Day : NPR History Dept. : NPR
For at least a century or so, April flowers led to showers of May baskets on the front-door knobs of American homes.
- May Day around the May Pole
Do you celebrate May Day? Homeschoolers in the Boston Area will be celebrating May Day with the traditional May Pole. They make flower chains to adorn their heads, dress in costumes if they like and dance to traditional May Day music played on fiddle
- SalmonRiver Gazette: May Day
Origins of May Day festival
- MayDay music and dance, trah la!
Mayday is a celebration of renewal. Spring brings flowers and rebirth.
- May Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
May Day From Wikipedia, This article is about the holidays celebrated on May 1. For more information on the labour-related holiday, see International Workers' Day. For the distress signal, see Mayday. For other use
The Festival Book
This is a reproduction of a culturally important book published before 1923.
May Day With Children
May Day With Children
May Day in the USA
- What a Shame that May Day Vanished
On May Day we boys used to gather straggly bouquets of delicate spring violets of heart-breaking butterfly blue for our one-and-only best gals - our moms.Giggling slender Shoshone girls at our tumbleweed-terraced reservation school danced around the
May Day Is Celebrated In Hawaii As Lei Day
This book explains how this May Day is celebrated in England, where it originated over 700 years ago and describes how Hawaii came to embrace it as Lei Day and how local customs commemorate Hawaii's royal history. Beautiful photographs show how this day is celebrated throughout Hawaii.
"...children's book exploring the Hawaiian tradition of Lei Day, springing from the English Tradition of May Day. Showing the wide range of activities and their meaning on this annual Hawaiian event, "May Day & Lei Day" is a charming book." ~Midwest Review
Visit My Other Celtic Sites
- Celebrating Scotland
People with Scottish heritage celebrate the legacy of our shared heritage every year with Tartan Week during April in Scotland, and events around the world. Join the celebration!
- Celtic Women The Genetic Code
Discover a little bit about what it means to be a Celtic Woman. Who are they, what are they about? What are the characteristics they share?
Celebrations in May
- Celebrate The Month of May
Want to know what to celebrate during the month of May? May Day, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day and more!