01 May is associated with Irish (Celtic) festival of Bealtaine (pronounced approximately – b-yowl-tin-a). It’s a celebration of the coming Summer season and a hoping for a good harvest from the fields some months hence. It’s also a time when you must be careful of the dastardly activities of the fairies, who are up to no good at this time. You must take measures to protect your home, your children and your herd of cows, lest they come to some harm.
From a W.B. Yeats poem:
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand.
For the world’s more full of weeping
than you can understand.
So be careful of the pishogues tonight, throw a few primrose flowers inside your front & back doors to keep the bad fairies out, drive your herd of cows between two fires to keep the milk pure and prevent the cows milk drying up completely. But only on this night.
Read more of the Bealtaine festival on the Irish Archaeology blog site: http://irisharchaeology.ie/2011/05/mayday-and-bealtaine/
Be careful out there!
Some Spring flowers from MB’s trip home last week: