Happy May Day! Or as some may refer to it as Beltane. Beltane is one of the 4 cross quarter festivals, a mid way point between the spring equinox and summer solstice. This is the peak of the spring season and the beginning of the summer when the earth is clothed in green! Everywhere life is manifesting itself and moving outwards!

Beltane translates as “bright fire”, and is one of the 4 fire festivals throughout the year (Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas, Samhain). In early traditions, May-Eve was a night to be out in the wildwoods, ribbons and gifts were hung from Hawthorne Trees and in the May morning, people danced around the Maypole, symbolizing the joining female and male energy. It was a time for honoring unions of all kinds.

Growing up, it was a family tradition to rise before the sun and wash our faces in the May day morning dew. According to folklore, the dew on May 1sthas magical properties and anyone who washes their face in it will have a flawless complexion for the entire year. A traditional rhyme says that the maid who rises early on May morning, “and washes in dew from the hawthorn tree, will ever handsome be”

There are many ways traditions to celebrate May day, and were opportunities to participate in rituals that offered thanks for the blessings of the earth. These rituals supported people in connecting the rhythms of their own lives to the larger rhythms of nature. For me, these seasonal transitions allow me to pause, and appreciate the shifts and changes our Earth is going through, and to offer gratitude for the gifts that each season brings.

Happy May Day!