Beltane © Aris Dervis

© Aris Dervis 2005

Beltane - May 1

The holiday of Beltane represents the mid-point in time between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice. A fertility celebration, it included the drinking of May Wine, dancing the Maypole and romantic interludes to ensure a good crop. Beltane is particularly sacred to the Roman goddess Flora whose generosity spreads the spring fields with flowers. Her ritual celebration, the Floralia, was commemorated from April 28 to May 3. During that period of time there was abundant drinking, dancing and enjoyment of flowers. Even the animals were bedecked with garlands. This photo was taken outside our apartment building on Riverside Drive. For a few brief days in late April the magnolia tree came vividly to life. Urban dwellers appreciate nature all the more because it isn't our wallpaper. Forsythia, daffodils, jonquils, tulips, hyacinths- all are greeted with relief as spring makes itself ours.

Recipe for May Wine
One bottle of dry German wine (Riesling)
12 sprigs of fresh woodruff

Immerse the woodruff in the wine overnight. Strain. Serve cold with fresh strawberries.
Drink in a garden.

Beltane is available as a framed print, T-shirt, greeting card and candle.