May Day or the festival of Beltane celebrates the start of the bright half of the year. One of the four main festivals of Celtic spirituality, it's a time to make merry. According to Caitlin Matthews, author of The Celtic Book of Days, it marks "the return to outdoor gatherings and and celebrations. . . . There are pleasure, plenty, and pasttimes to be enjoyed. It is a time of love and adventure, inspired by the fledging birds which leave the nest at this time to find their own territory." The lovely custom of leaving a basket or cone of flowers on friends' doorsteps reminds us of the spirit of warmth, joy, and generosity that come to the fore in this lush time of year.
How do we name this day, the start of a season? Matthews continues: "Beltane encourages us to fully engage in the projects and plans which we have waited a long winter to fulfill."
Get outside today and, as you walk and play, also commit your energy to one of those projects.
Read more about May Day and Matthews' ideas for celebrating it, including cancelling work!