May Day is a significant day in the UK and around the world with a long and varied history in ancient, traditional, and modern calendars. It’s worth taking a little time this May Day to contemplate what it means to you, is it just a day off work (for many of us) or something more than this?
May Day marks the point between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice, known as Beltane and first celebrated by the Celts. Fire and fertility are at the core of this celebration, as the ancient Celts honoured the fertility of the soil and earth symbolised by the union of the god and goddess, and between humans too. It’s a celebration of life, love, and happiness.
Beltane is a perfect opportunity to look to the future, light a fire either literally or figuratively and decide what you want to ‘light your fire’ in the coming year. It’s a time to make affirmations and plans for the future. Beltane is an ideal time to start a new project. It is said that the veil is thin between this world and the faerie realm at Beltane so you can make a wish and an offering to the fae, and visualise it coming true.
May Day from the 19th Century is also a significant date as Labour Day, or International Worker’s Day, where the working classes and labourers are celebrated and their struggles acknowledged highlighted by a movement for the eight-hour working day and worker’s rights. It’s a good day to appreciate others and all the everyday things we use and consume, often without thinking, but in reality, we would not have any access to them had someone farmed, created, built them. However much we contribute as an individual we are very much reliant on the work of others for much of our existence.
So whatever you focus on, there is plenty to think about this May Day!