Today I made something pretty. It’s Beltane, the festival that marks the beginning of summer and according to most, if not all sources, spells sexy time. Literally. Beltane, or May Day Eve, plus May Day, is all about getting it on with the energies of the earth and reaping your fecund potential.
Needless to say there is A LOT of folklore going on over the next couple of days, and had things been different I would have been whooping it up in Edinburgh at the Beltane Fire Festival. But instead I made a fairy maypole, as the people of Kingstone and Thruxton, Herefordshire used to practice the tradition of leaving out dancefloors made out of moss for fairies said to be abroad tonight.
Originally, I’d thought about using my mini glitter ball to provide a disco feel to their dance floor, but revised this on remembering I had stripy straws in a drawer. Plus, it looks like there’ll be no maypole dancing for us this year, so somebody else really should be doing it.
The small bag of moss I’d purchased had hidden its capacity to expand, overflowing my ashtray dance floor. Next up was a small baking tray, but the moss looked a little lost. So now I have a lot of leftovers. Construction was fiddly but easy. I cut up a ribbon, snapped some toothpicks, bent some wire, butchered a lei, nipped some fresh herbs, tastefully arranged some fake ivy, be-rhinestoned the ashtray (you can take the girl out of the disco), and made copious use of my glue gun. Such a dreamy way to spend an afternoon.
Then after clapping for the NHS, I gently placed the fairy dance floor outside. So pretty, even if I do say so myself. It’s said that tonight is a mischief night (after all, Shakespeare’s Dream is set tonight), giving leave for some fairies to act more Puck than Merryweather, so I’m hoping that a bit ribbon hoofing might divert hijinks away from my door. But with my luck they’ll probably go all Wicker Man on me instead.
Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Forest, D. (2016) The Magical Year, Seasonal Celebrations To Honour Nature’s Ever-Turning Wheel, London, Watkins
Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books