May Day is a festival that has roots stretching back to medieval Europe, and is also celebrated as the Celtic and Pagan festival known as Beltane. The maypole, often seen bearing garlands, represents the tree of life and fertility. Children and adults often wear flowers as a symbol of Flora, the Roman goddess of springtime and flowering plants.
Traditions include the gathering of flowers and green branches, the weaving of floral garlands and setting up a maypole or May tree around which people dance taking a coloured ribbon attached to it and weaving around each other, often to music. The dance creates a beautiful multi-coloured pattern down the pole (which you can see being created in the banner image above). The dancers then reverse their steps to undo the ribbons.
In main school, to the accompaniment of live music, each class danced with parents and family looking on (socially distanced). Moving up through the classes, youngest to oldest, weaving more and more complicated designs. Whilst parents and family were not able to have the last dance, it was lovely to celebrate together as a school community for the first time since the initial lockdowns. Hand woven ‘May Baskets’ of spring flowers were created to display and hang around the school to wish everyone a happy spring.
By celebrating the transition of the seasons through music, art and story, we strengthen our interrelatedness with the rhythms of nature.