The May 1st or May Day has traditionally been a seasonal day of significance. Many folklore customs originated from the Dark Ages, when the ancient Celts divided their year by four major festivals. Beltane or ‘the fire of Bel’, had particular significance to the Celts. The Gaelic May Day festival marked a halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. May Day has been associated with fun, revelry and fertility. The first day of summer was celebrated with bonfires to welcome in the new season and thought to lend life to the spring and summer sun. The smoke and ashes were believed to have protective powers. People and cattle would walk around the fire or leap over the flames for good luck. May Day brought together both customs from the Floralia and Beltane festivals.
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The clocks moved forward in the UK last night, heralding the start of the lighter nights. The sun is shining and I am enjoying being in the middle of a 4 day weekend. To embrace the season I’ve made a bit of a seasonal display for our living room window. I’ve included some beautiful daffodils and hyacinth and some cute fluffy bunnies and a fluffy chick. I have also made my own decopatch Easter Eggs for my Easter basket. It’s definitely feeling like spring has sprung!
What are you doing to embrace the spring season? What are your favorite tings about spring?
Following on from my previous post on my mission to make friends with winter – Do it like the Danish – Hygge – Christmas is fast approaching and I have now embarked on a mission to adopt homeless and abandoned Santa’s.
Yes people, homeless and abandoned Santa’s at Christmas – it’s terrible, I know!Read More »
I have not been fortunate enough to ever visit Denmark. It is often reported as being one of the ‘happiest countries’. These sort of reports always intrigue me. What is that makes these places the happiest?
They have proper winters – up to 17 hours of darkness per day and average temperatures around 0C.
Winter is a season I struggle to fully embrace and appreciate. I have personal reasons so it’s not just the darkness and the weather, it’s a sad time for me (that’s for another day and a different post).
This year I am on a mission to make friends with winter.
Here in the UK we are definitely preparing for the winter. The clocks have changed, bringer longer periods of darkness. The sunny, blue sky, crisp autumn days seem to have faded. My mission is underway.
This year, I am planning to do it like a Dane! If they can be happy in winter, I want some of what they have.Read More »
I am Scottish, although I now live in North Yorkshire. Many of the Scottish traditions stem from it’s Gaelic history.
Autumn is synonymous with Halloween, which was traditionally Samhain in Scotland. Samhain was one of the four main festivals of the Gaelic calendar, it marks Summer’s end. During Samhain bonfires were traditionally lit on hilltops in Scotland.
The Samhain bonfires were traditionally lit on the evening on the 31st October. It marked the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the Celtic new year or the dark half of the year. Sacred fires were a big part of the cleansing of the old year and a method to prepare for the coming new year. Feasts were held and bonfires were lit throughout the countryside. The bonfires were to warm friendly spirits and ward off evil spirits, and also represented the sun, which they wished would return, bringing heat and growth.Read More »
Guy Fawkes has been described as Britain’s most notorious traitor. He is the most famous and most remembered of the men involved in the Gunpowder Plot but he did not act alone and he was not the leader. Guy Fawkes, along with a few like minded men, planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament, using gunpowder on the 5th November 1605.Read More »
Pumpkin laterns and pine cones.
I love the changing seasons. It’s one of the reasons I love living in the UK. Autumn is definitely one of my favourite seasons. It is a time of great change within nature.
Nature and embracing the seasons is a important part of my life.Read More »