Seven Easy Ways to Celebrate Beltane

The first of May is Beltane or May Day, a time to celebrate the leaping fires of passion. It marks the height of spring and the flowering of all life. Beltane is a festival of sensuality, sexuality, flowers and delight. It is a traditional time to make love, preferably outdoors.

There are many lovely old customs associated with this time. Here are seven simple ideas for celebrating this wild red time of year:

1. Make a May basket. Fill it with flowers or other outdoor objects. Leave it on a doorstep of someone who cannot get outside, such as an invalid or elderly person.

2. Make a wreath of freshly picked flowers and wear it in your hair.

3. Perfume your house with delicate scent of woodruff, a tiny, star-like flower that blooms around this time in the Northern Hemisphere.

4. Dress in bright colors, especially hot pink or crimson, the traditional colors of Beltane.

5. Erect a Maypole in your yard. It doesn’t have to be tall. You can use a yardstick, broomstick, or even a twig. At the top of the pole affix different colored ribbons. Get a group of friends, and have each choose a ribbon and make a wish upon it. (For example, “I choose this red ribbon for more passion in my life.”) Dance around the Maypole entwining your ribbons together. Then take the entwined ribbons and make a hair wreath out of them. Take turns wearing it.

6. Embrace the ones you love. Hugs and kisses all around.

7. Write poetry about Beltane, and then recite your poems aloud, preferably outside. Try haiku, an ancient Japanese poetry-art form. Haiku consist of three unrhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables. Here are three haiku about May to give you the idea:

Happy women weave

colored ribbons round their hearts

dreams become prayers

flap your black swan wings

hoot like a young chimpanzee

dance a lively dance

petals will open

roses show their hot male hearts

make love to yourself

Holidays are days made holy by the attention we pay them. Simple practices such as the ones listed above remind us that we too dance to the natural rhythms of the earth.

Post time: 12-25-2017