There is something about the start of May that seems to have always made people want to dance and party, from ancient pagans to 21st-century city dwellers.
Here are a few Beltane and May Day events taking place around London:
On May Day itself, May 1, Fowlers Troop and the Deptford Jack in the Green will start processing from the Market Porter pub, Stoney Street, London SE1 at 11am and return there later in the day. For full details, visit http://www.deptford-jack.org.uk/. The City of London Jack in the Green will be at the Green Man pub, Queen Victoria Street/Bucklersbury Passage in the City of London at 10am, progressing to The Lamb in Leadenhall Market, Wood Street Police Station, St Paul's Cathedral and The Centre Page at Knightrider Court, before returning to The Green Man at around 5.15pm. For more information visit http://www.cityjackinthegreen.com/.
Also on May 1, The Bavarian Beerhouse, 190 City Rd, London EC1V 2QH will be celebrating May Day Bavarian style with The Tanz in den Mai, or The Dance into May, which its website says is "an ancient pagan festival in Germany that saw people feasting and dancing around May Poles, as they did in England". The Dance into May night is part of the larger Spring Festival at the Bavarian Beerhouse, with a fortnight of live music, dancing, authentic Bavarian food, and steins full of German beer. You have to book in advance for this event and tickets are priced from £9.50 call 0844 3302 005 or for more details, visit http://www.bavarian-beerhouse.com
Sunday May 3 you can celebrate Beltain on Primrose Hill. This open ritual on Primrose Hill is being organised by Jay the Tailor, and should have a druidic feel. Meet at 12.45pm at the main entrance opposite Rothwell Street. Ritual ends at 1:45pm. Bring a picnic.
On May 7, Pagan Federation London is hosting an Indoor Beltane Ritual by Woodspirits. Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL. 7.30pm for 8pm start. Entrance £5 (£4 for members). Bring food and drink to share. No photographs allowed. Visit www.pflondon.org
May 24 & 25, the late May bank holiday weekend, sees the Beltane Bash - an anual pagan festival with music, stalls, workshops and talks. Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London, WC1R 4RL. One-day tickets cost £15, two-day tickets are £25. Visit http://www.paganfestivals.com
Mayday (English Traditions)