Beltane Blessings!

Beltane is a special time to reflect on the ever changing natural world around us and take time to ground ourselves and realign ourselves with the beat of Mother Nature’s drum.

Setting a massive bonfire is also a great idea – if you’ve the space to do so safely! As this will help get rid of the cold weather for good (or until autumn anyway!) The most famous of which takes place in Edinburgh each year – Beltane Fire Festival 2019

Rituals were performed to protect the cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth. Special bonfireswere kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective powers. The people and their cattle would walk around or jump over the bonfire or pass between two bonfires, and sometimes leap over the flames or embers.

Beltane is a time when flowers begin to bloom and green plants enjoy a growth spurt. It’s a time of fertility and growth, a time to celebrate love, light and sexuality.

Beltane is a time to thrive and grow. As we witness the fruits of Nature grow and thrive right before our eyes, Beltane reminds us that we are every bit as dependent on the earth’s fertility as were our ancestors.

Padstow May Day

May Day (or ‘Obby ‘Oss Day as it is known) is the biggest day in Padstow’s calendar. It is not unusual to see 30,000 people crammed into this little town on the day when Padstonians from all over the world return to their roots. The origins of the Obby Oss are numerous. Some say the celebration has its roots in pagan times, others that it’s a rain maker, a fertility symbol, a deterrent to a possible landing by the French some centuries ago or perhaps a welcome to the summer.

What happens?

Locals spend the night decorating the town’s streets with flags, flowers and greenery complete with a maypole and the following morning two “osses”, one red and one blue emerge from their stables. The “osses”, swirling and dancing proceed through Padstow’s streets taunted by a Teazer, who leads the dance with theatrical movements. The accompanying retinue are dressed all in white with their costumes decorated with ribbons and sprays of cowslips and bluebells. As the procession moves around the town, dancers perform a traditional gyrating dance to the sound of musicians and drummers. Last, but not least, are the followers, young and old who join the procession every year singing of the traditional May Song.

How can you take part?

It gets very busy and car parks and streets in the old town are closed to traffic. Advice is to get there early. There is a field at the top of the town near the Tesco supermarket where a park and ride service is available. You can also park in the village of Rock across the estuary and take the regular ferry across to Padstow.

Did you know?

The ‘Obby ‘Oss is the inspiration for the song “Padstow” by folk group Steeleye Span. Cowslips, bluebells, sycamore twigs and forget-me-nots are used to decorate the streets

Info: Padstow May Day takes place annually on 1st May (2nd May if the 1st falls on a Sunday).

Also calledLá Bealtaine  (Irish)
Là Bealltainn  (Scottish Gaelic)
Laa Boaltinn/Boaldyn  (Manx)[1]
Beltaine; Beltine[2]
Observed byGaels
(Modern Irish peopleScottish peopleManx peopleCeltic neopagans and Wiccans)
TypeCultural
Pagan (Celtic polytheismCeltic NeopaganismWicca)
SignificanceBeginning of summer
Celebrationslighting bonfires, decorating homes with May flowers, making May bushes, visiting holy wells, feasting
Date30 April or 1 May
(or 1 November for Neopagans in theS. Hemisphere)
Frequencyannual
Related toMay Day, Calan MaiWalpurgis Night

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