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  • Beltane

    Beltane will be here soon.

    Hope you can dance the night away and welcome the warm sun.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Jason Lee:

    what is that about ?


    • #3
      Yea, Beltane is something I never heard of. Can you explain ???


      • #4
        Hey, Rabid you know that pole with all the ribbons you danced around as a kid?
        You called it the May Pole most likely.
        The boys danced one way and the girls the other twisting the ribbon around the pole.

        That's the modern "kindergarten" version of Beltane.
        There is more to it, but the basic ritual is a dance around a pole or fire ... males one way, females another ...young, old, married, single, all of the age of puberty and beyond danced. Of course all dancers are nude except for body paint and tattoos.
        As dawn arises the music stops and whomever you are standing opposite of you go off into the woods with.

        Did I mention this is a fertility celebration?

        Even if you were married you went with the one in front of you though they be not your spouse. (This is an old method of diversifying the gene pool in a small population ... most prevalent in matriarchal societies but found in all human societies around the world.

        Bet your Kindergarten teacher never told that part did she?

        Like I said there is more to it and modern observances vary widely ... very few modern observances follow the dance to its traditional conclusion by the way.


        • #5
          As a kid we never danced around a pole with ribbons on it. Just never did that.

          We did have steamed watermelon. Just after dark we would have a big bon fire and we all would sit around the fire toasting marshmallows and 'chewing the fat' with everyone while a huge watermelon sat on top of the coals.

          Eventually the watermelon would steam inside and blow up. They we all would go out in the bushes and get a piece.


          • #6
            Jason, in answer to your first question, traditionally YES, from puberty on.

            In answer to your second question, again traditionally YES.

            Modern Beltane observances however are mainly an adult affair ... though youth are allowed at some celebrations ... and do not conclude as was traditionally done.


            • #7
              There are differing opinions on nudity and sex as to how it relates to the Maypole.
              The consensus is that the pole is a big phallic symbol.
              The other side of the coin is this:
              In times past, many people only had a few garments. They were washed on a rock, and the fabric only had so much strength to it. And there was a less Puritanistic feeling about nudity than our society has today. So it is not unlikely that people were nude-essentially "just because." Or to save the garment.
              People's views about sex were also different than they are now. It was not uncommon that many girls would be pregnant in their late teens. But the average age for death was significantly lower.
              This does not however mean that there was a "sexual free for all."
              And if you have ever done a Maypole, you would realize that it is also possible to go until the ribbon is fully wrapped around the pole. But that each person's ribbon ends up doing so at a different time.
              Another custom is that the first man & first woman's to end become the King and Queen for the day. Again, they may go away from the group at that point. But perhaps not.



              • #8
                Ritual planting of seeds saved from the last harvest to symbolize the rebirth of spring.

                Feasting upon the last of the winter stores and the first buds of new growth.

                Dancing, storytelling(recalling oral history), and music.

                Ritualized "courtship", i.e., 'The May Pole' and societal condoned sexual encounters to insure as large a diversity in the local gene pool as possible (that's why 'guests' were so welcomed at Beltane ... fresh genes).

                In other words a big party.

                Of course those listed above are the traditional celebration highlights.

                For modern celebrations you need to check with a local group and see what they are planning.


                • #9
                  Another Tradition that even Christians might like to try...I do not know how old this one is, to secretly leave a flower arrangement, or a hanging plant on a neighbors porch, with a note simply saying...happy May!

                  I am in the process of planning my annual Beltane Barbarian, in which there is dancing around a fire, body painting, and generic stuff like drinking! Although, some people at my party have pared off on gone "into the woods" it wasn't part of the plan, it was just how they were moved.

                  This year, we will try to have a May Pole.
                  I have always wondered about the May Pole tradition that nackman wrote of...that there should have been certain exceptions. Like, if the music stopped and a man was facing his teenage daughter or adult daughter for that matter or any other family member.


                  • #10
                    Maybe that leaving of a gift on a neighbors porch is a fairly new tradition. As this is the exact opposite of Halloween (Sam Hain) where neighbors give out candy , we give them something.
                    Halloween is a scary holliday..notice I said Halloween and NOT Sam Hain, where as May Day is not!
                    May day is all about life and light!
                    Halloween is all about darkness and PRETEND death.
                    This is just a thought, not an actual idea I looked up or do not take it as truth!


                    • #11
                      Greenman, there were "gesas" , taboos if you will on the ritual for the society and individually, one of which was the no playing in the woods with the offspring one (narrows the gene pool with that one and that's not what the ritual was for). Certain members of a village could not dance ... pregnant women , children, any one with missing parts (you had to be whole), etc.


                      • #12
                        In about 2 weeks, it will be here..enjoy!


                        • #13
                          The 1st of May is a holyday of VAPPU in Finland, - cheerful and joyful day of Youth and Spring.


                          • #14
                            I plan on having a wonderful time at Beltane this year.
                            We have a couple of good storytellers attending, both of whom are professional storytellers and as you may know that is an all but lost talent in modern society.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by vapaa:
                              The 1st of May is a holyday of VAPPU in Finland, - cheerful and joyful day of Youth and Spring.

                              Vappu is internationallly known better by name Walborgis night but in Finland it is spring carneval. Normal carneval time it is so cold here that it is very mild. On 1st of May there are big festivities.