Let’s pretend that this is May 1st during the glory that was ancient and historical times in England. If it were, we would do something that would be called ‘Bringing In the May’. All the robust lads would have erected a May Pole, and at the crack of dawn, all the children would be roused from their beds to run through the fields to gather flowers still wet with dew. The most lovely maiden would be crowned Queen of the May and there would be dancing around the May Pole, revelry and bonfires, amongst other things that would last long into the night. May Day is an ancient festival with Pagan roots. It was the 2nd most important holiday of the year for the Druids because it was when Beltane was held.
Beltane, an ancient Celtic festival, is related to the revels of May Day. May Day or May 1st, falls exactly six months from Samhain, another Celtic celebration of ancient times which falls on the 1st of November. During the day, most of the May Day celebrating was above board, and marked the definite end of a long, harsh and dark winter. At night, however, it was indeed a very different story, when the revels took on a decidedly raucous slant where many random couplings often took place around, beside, far or near the huge Beltane blaze. Many a babe was born nine months hence as an ode to the rejoicing that had taken place.
Oh, how we miss the Pagans. What would it have been like to dance with great frivolity around the beribboned May Pole and be chosen Queen of the May, and perhaps even be kissed by a king? Well, if not during Beltane, then there is always Midsummer, aka Litha, where we can celebrate the Summer Solstice. Wherever there is a bonfire lit, revelry and debauchery are sure to follow. But that my friends, is quite another story…..