Beltane is here

We will be celebrating properly at the weekend but this morning I have just been watching the Devil’s Dyke Morris Men dancing in the May at Wandlebury in Cambridgeshire, UK (on Instagram) and listening to massed Morris dancers in Toronto singing Hal-an-Tow (also on Instagram).

I used to go up to Wandlebury Hill on May morning when I lived in Cambridge (UK). One time, I went really early to do a Beltane ritual in the woods. It was foggy and I wandered over to see the Devil’s Dyke Morris Men. I had been expecting them to be at the top, but they were in the lower meadow. In the fog, I mistook them for cows in the meadow. I was wearing a cloak and carrying a lantern, so they thought I was a ghost.

When we lived in Oxford (UK), we used to go to the May morning celebrations there. I miss that… but not so much the getting up at the crack of dawn, although it was wonderful hearing the dawn chorus of birdsong, and the Oxford May Morning celebrations are magnificent. I also love the idea that, all over Britain, people are up and singing and dancing to welcome in the May.

Happy Beltane, everyone! Up the May!

Crocuses in our back garden

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5 thoughts on “Beltane is here

  1. Happy Beltane! Despite living in Cambridge for over a decade, I only just heard about the Wandlebury Beltane morris today, thanks to a friend of a friend who went this morning. Oh well, there’s always next year! I’ll be celebrating Eel Day in Ely at the weekend, which is as close to a Beltane folk festival as anything else. Hope you have a good one, and enjoy the blessings of Spring!

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    • Oh, sorry you didn’t know about it— I should’ve mentioned it earlier. They also danced the entire length of the Devil’s Dyke one year — all 13 miles of it — and did set pieces at the start and at Six Mile Bottom, and then danced at the folk festival in Reach, too. Amazing stamina. We walked along the Dyke behind them and it’s quite narrow in places. Also worth going there for the wild Pasque flowers.

      Happy Beltane 🌷🌹🌷

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      • That’s ok, I swear I walk around with my head in the clouds sometimes. All this cool stuff on my doorstep – a challenge this year for me to go out and experience it more I think.

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