May Day - or Beltane - is one of the most popular pagan festivals of the year. It is a time to celebrate the greening of the trees, the strengthening sun and the fertility of the Earth and all who live on her.
There are lots of public events and open rituals taking place. Here are the details of some Beltane events - I will add more as I find out about them:
Sunday, 25 April; PF London Earth Week and Outdoor Beltane gathering. PF London will be gathering at Queens Wood, Highgate, London for its annual Earth Week/Beltane outdoor ritual from noon until 6pm. There will be a picnic, a guided walk through the wood at 3.30pm, an attunement and ritual performed by Pagan pathfinders and a short drumming session from approximately 5pm. This is a free event, but donations would be welcome. Visit http://www.pflondon.org/
Friday 30 April; Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland. Revival of the ancient Celtic fertility festival in the heart of the Scottish capital. The Beltane Fire Festival will take place on Calton Hill during the night of Friday 30 April. Tickets are available from the Hub, Ripping Records or the Forest Cafe on Bristo Place. Tickets cost £6 in advance, or £8 on 30 April. Booking fee applies. Visit http://www.beltane.org/
Friday 30 April - 3 May; Hastings Jack in the Green Festival. Events around the town of Hastings, starting with The Ceremony of May on Friday at 7.30pm. Other activities include Morris dancing, live music, church service, crowning of the May Queen, and the release of Jack in the Green with a procession through the town, culminating the slaying of Jack. For details of the full programme, visit the website http://www.hastingsjack.co.uk/index.html
Saturday 1 May, Fowlers Troop will be processing around Deptford with their traditional Jack in the Green. For details of times and routes, visit http://www.deptford-jack.org.uk/
Saturday 1 May; Beltane on the Jetty. The Coven of the Bright Isle is holding an open ritual called Beltane on the Jetty on the pier at Broadstairs, Kent, It will start at 5am, at sunrise, and will include a chant to awaken the Green Man. This is a Wiccan coven, but pagans of all traditions are welcome. Children are also very welcome. Bring drums, whistles, rattles or horns to welcome the sun. There is parking next to the pier, in the heart of Broadstairs - turn down Harbour Street opposite the Dolphin and between the Neptune and Barnaby pubs. Call Ian or Mandy on 01843 603827 if you have any questions.
Saturday, 1 May; Free & Open Gorsedd Beltaine Rite. Druidic Ceremony to call in the Summer at Avebury Stone Circle, Wiltshire. Meet at the Red Lion Pub from noon for the ceremony from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Other events will take place at Avebury throughout the day from dawn. The overflow car park will be available for camping on Friday 30 April, Saturday 1 May and Sunday 2 May, Please ensure all tents are removed by midday Monday.
Saturday, May 1; Open Beltane Ritual at Chertsey. Meet in the Golden Grove Public House, Ruxbury Road, St Annes Hill, Chertsey at 8.30pm to go on the short journey to the ritual site on St Annes Hill in convoy. It is strictly over 18s only event, but all over-18s are welcome. Dress for the woods and the weather with stout shoes and bring a torch. Bring food or drink to share if you want to.
Sunday, May 2, Anderida Gorsedd Druid group Beltane open ritual at the Long Man of Wilmington, Sussex. To take part, meet from 1.30pm to 2pm near the Long Man of Wilmington car park, for a walk up the hill at 2pm. Afterwards, those who want to to will retire to the Giants Rest pub for a social drink. For details visit the website http://www.anderidagorsedd.org/Anderida_Gorsedd/Open_Rituals.html
Tuesday 4 May; Beltane Open Ritual at The Sacred Hart Moot, The Golden Lion, 2 High Street, Romford RM1 1HR. Time: 7pm-10.30pm. For more information visit: http://www.sacredhart.350.com/
May 30 & 31, the late May bank holiday weekend, sees the Beltane Bash - an anual pagan festival with music, stalls, workshops and talks as well as the Pagan Pride Procession. Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London, WC1R 4RL. One-day tickets cost £16, two-day tickets are £26. For more details, visit http://www.paganfestivals.com/
For more about Beltane, visit my post at http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/04/beltane-frolics-and-wicker-man.html