Happy May Day… Bealtaine. In the Celtic tradition, it is the day of the Bright Fire, the beginning of the six months of the summer season, Samhraidh.
Today is a day to prepare yourself for the season. Bring summer into the house today by gathering a May branch…hazel, or yellow flowers and bringing inside. Or decorate a May tree outside. Wash your face with morning dew. Light a fire or two, maybe even run your livestock or yourself between them. Walk clockwise around a Holy well or spring. Gather your luck by not giving anything away today!
There were no Maypoles in Ireland as that custom most likely derives from the Roman festival of Floralia. It may also have roots in the practice of decorating May trees. There still are traditions in Ireland and Britain of decorating trees at wells and elsewhere, as a way of offering. Traditions are not static and while we value ‘ancient’ roots, I think remembering our connection to earth and celebrating that, however we do it, is valuable. So, if you do dance, enjoy it!