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May Day! Beltane! Walpurgis Tag! The first day of summer!

I know, the weather is terrible - we're expecting a cold front Wednesday that will drop us down close to freezing. But the seasons aren't based on weather, they're based on the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun.

In about 7 weeks, it will be Midsummer.

Yard April 2013

Roses, Mint, and Horsetails

If I were in Germany, I'd have spent last night and all of today in "luck visits" - visiting all my friends and neighbors to wish them a fruitful summer by bring them cones of flowers. They'd offer food, wine steeped in woodruff, or coins.  I'd receive visitors bearing flowers and offer them food, wine steeped in woodruff, or coins.

May Day was a combination of Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's Day with the carols, the door to door gifting of flowers and food, and the courting that went on.

I don't have English translations of the German songs, but is my favorite English May Day song:

Hal an Tow

What shall we have that kill the deer?
His leather skin and horns to wear
Then sing him home without a care
The rest shall bear this burden

Take no scorn to wear the horn
It was the crest when you was born
Your father's father wore it
And your father wore it too

Chorus (after each verse):
    Hal-an-tow, jolly rumbalow
    We were up long before the day-O
    To welcome in the summer,
    To welcome in the May-O
    For summer is a-coming in
    And winter's gone away-O

What happened to the Spaniards
That made so brave a boast-O?
Oh they shall eat the feathered goose
And we shall eat the roast-O

Now Robin Hood and Little John
They both went to the fair-O
And we shall to the jolly green wood
To hunt the buck and hare-O

God bless Aunt Mary Moses
And all her power and might-O
And send us peace to England
Send peace by day and night-O

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