Thursday, May 1, 2014

THE MAGIC of MAY DAY


May Day is a sweet old-fashioned celebration of Spring that is mostly overlooked in our culture, but according to lore, it was a festival that celebrated not only the arrival of Spring, but paid homage to Flora, goddess of flowers.

It is one of the corner days which fall between solar festivals of the year (the equinoxes and soltices). The ancient Celts called this holiday Beltane and began celebrating at sunset on April 30th.
Like Halloween, this is a night some claim, that witches, faeries, and ghosts wander freely. The veil between the worlds is thin. Many ancient tales tell of faerie sightings on May 1st.

When my children were young, we celebrated May Day by making fresh flower bouquets from the blooming wild flowers and herbs in my garden and whatever we could scrounge up in the woods. Often our lilac bushes were in bloom and we added sprigs of the heady purple posies. We made a bouquet for each of our nearby relatives and our favorite neighbors....often 20 bundles or more we tied up in a riot of ribbons. 

Then, following May Day ritual lore, we would deliver the flowers to the doorsteps of our family and friends, ring their bell, and run away giggling-thrilled with our secret gift.

The kids are all grown and gone from home now...and I haven't celebrated May Day this way in many years. But, those sweet, magical memories fill me up and make me smile every May1st.

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