Goin' a-Mayin' is a fun way to celebrate the warmer
weather that Beltane traditionally brings. To go a-Mayin' simply
fill a picnic basket with your favourite foods, a bottle of wine
or sparkling apple cider, a soft blanket and some snacks for wildlife
you may encounter.
Go to your favourite picnic spot, spread out your blanket and
enjoy your feast, giving thanks to the Gods and Goddesses for
their generosity. If the picnic will be a family affair, be sure
to bring a Frisbee or a ball for some fun after you eat. If the
picnic is to be a celebration of an adult nature, be sure to find
a secluded spot and enjoy some fun of a different sort.
After your picnic is complete, be sure to leave no traces of
your visit, share some snacks with the animals and birds and if
you bring fruit, plant the seeds to give back to the Earth.
I was fortunate enough to have been raised in a part of the
world that is still steeped in many pagan traditions. My grandmother,
who was an herbalist and midwife, taught me much of the knowledge
of the "old ways" that she had been taught by her grandmother.
Her favourite holiday was Beltane and a little of that enthusiasm
rubbed off on me.
One of the traditions that I still observe today is leaving May
Baskets on the front doors of my neighbour’s homes and giving
them to anyone who happens to visit my own home - be it the postman,
FedEx girl or a family member or friend who drops by. Making the
baskets is a fun and easy craft and kids really enjoy helping
To make the basket, simply take a square piece of paper and roll
it into a cone and use a bit of invisible tape to keep the cone
from popping open. Attach a piece of yarn or string to the top
of the basket so that it can hang and then add flowers to the
cone. The paper can be as plain or fancy as you’d like and
the flowers can be dried, silk or the first blooms from your own
garden. If you’d like to leave fresh flowers, you can line
the paper cone with cling wrap and paper towels and add a little
water to keep the flowers from wilting.
You can use other things besides flowers for your May Baskets.
You can add freshly baked cookies or muffins. Your children can
pitch in with coupons for free yard work, baby-sitting or dog
walking. You can even put some original artwork or handmade candles
in them. Give a bunch of finished baskets to your children and
instruct them to deliver one to each neighbour and wish them a
happy May Day when they answer the door.
This is a fun way to share the early bounty of the season and
spread a little cheer, too.