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Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day!

Happy May Day! Today is the pagan festival of Beltane, marked by the lighting of bonfires, the first day of summer in the Celtic calendar. It is also a time of other festivities; bringing in the May, dancing around the maypole, and dressing up as a tree if you so wish.

Also on this day:

Arthur Wellesley, The Duke of Wellington, Irish-born soldier, statesman and Prime Minister was born in 1769.

The Act of Union united England and Scotland in 1707.

Betting shops became legal in the UK in 1961.

7 comments:

Carol Townend said...

May Day seems a particularly romantic time of year, it always makes me think of romantic trysts...and the thought of the coming summer is wonderful. We heard our first swifts today, flying over the river near Richmond...

Jan Jones said...

Seems strange to light bonfires on the 1st day of Summer.

On the other hand, I've just been outside...

Nicola Cornick said...

Yes, I don't really associate bonfires with the spring/summer at all. Someone had lit a Beltane fire up on the Ridgeway last night.

I keep looking out for swifts and swallows, Carol. They must be on the way...

NinaP said...

Cool! Happy May Day, Nicola!

We have bonfires (in our back yard bonfire ring) up until June/July. I love sitting around a fire. Feels oddly primal and naturally real. There’s nothing like watching dancing flames to get a good think going.

Nicola Cornick said...

I agree, Nina. I love staring into the heart of a fire.

sandy said...

I love this picture, looks just plan fun.

With all the camping hubby and I've done through the years, we've always enjoyed sitting by a good fire. It's entertaining and warming.

We don't camp any longer, but we do have a fire pit we use often in the backyard and still enjoy staring at it.

Sandy

Nicola Cornick said...

Hi Sandy
Glad you liked the picture! I do like a good primeval sort of a fire even though out of control fires terrify me, probably because one of my earliest memories is of a neighbour's house burning down.