May 1st is Beltane, also known as May Day, and its one of my very favorite holidays. Its a cross-quarter day, marking it as the midway point in the sun's transit between the spring equinox and summer solstice. Celebrating holidays that are connected to the movement of the sun and moon around the earth is a wonderful way to stay connected to the seasons.
And Beltane is truly a time to celebrate - the flowers are budding and the world is green again. There is birth and rebirth in the plants and animals, and the earth is alive with fertility. We are opening our windows to let the fresh air in our homes and the spring sun warm us. The spring rains come to cleanse and nourish the soils and everywhere it smells of fresh earth. We plant our seeds, whether for our vegetables and flowers, or seeds of hope for our days to come. Its one of the most optimistic times of year!
Beltane, with its gaelic roots, was traditionally celebrated with feasting, bonfires, dancing and revelry. One of the things I love most about celebrating with the seasons is how the celebrations are responsive to the natural world around us in that particular moment. Meaning you work with what is seasonally available - from the food to the flowers. Foraging for both is a wonderful way to connect with the seasonal holidays, creating a bouquet of spring time flowers for the Beltane table or sauteeing fresh young dandelion greens. Yum!
So mark your calendars and let's get ready to celebrate spring!