It was the first day of May yesterday, although of course we don't get to celebrate that until Monday over here - what a day it could be with the full moon the night before and us on Lihou.
Traditionally the actual celebration took place on 30 April and is called "Beltane". This is primarily a fire and fertility festival and the time of the May Queen, when a young woman was chosen from the village to represent the Earth Goddess and reflect the transformation of maiden to mother.
This was also the time of the kindling of the need fire, when all the fires in the village were extinguished and then ritually re-lit the following day.
Fertility plays an important role in this festival too. The principal symbol of this Sabbat was the Maypole, also known as the axis mundi, around which the universe revolved. The pole personifies the male forcfe while the disk at the top depicts the receptive female. There were 7 ribbons ties to it, which represented the seven colours of the rainbow.
Beltane is when we actively begin to pursue our goals on the material plane. Now it is the time to take action and physically put effort into the goal you began to think about at Yule.
All very exciting times. Especially with the sun shining and that holiday energy starting to permeate the air!