May is a month of celebration and spiritual renewal. There are a number of ancient pagan festivals and holy days, each with their own unique traditions and symbolism.
This post will continue to be updated, so be sure to check in regularily!
May 1st: Beltane & Samhain
Beltane is a Gaelic festival that kicks off the "summer season" in the northern hemisphere. It is all about honouring the fertility of the land and all that resides on it. The spirits most associated with Beltane are the fae, or Sidhe, and some rituals involve providing offerings to them in hopes of gaining their favor and protection.
Samhain is a Gaelic festival that marks the beginning of the dark season in the southern hemisphere. It is considered a liminal time when the boundaries between the physical and spiritual worlds are blurred, and the dead are believed to be able to visit the living.
May 2nd: Elen of Way, Helen's Day
Elen of the Ways is a Welsh goddess associated with journeys. These can be physical or spiritual. She is said to be the guardian of the "Four Roads of Britain," which in Welsh mythology were roads constructed with the help of spirits. Elen of Ways is often called upon by pagan travellers for good luck and protection.
May 9th: Lemuria
Lemuria is celebrated on the 9th, 11th and 13th of May and is all about honouring your ancestors and paying your respects to the dead. This is done in order to keep them happy, as well as to protect you from the malevolent spirits known as lemurs. Lemuria may have been created to appease spirits who had not received a “customary burial” or who had died before their time, but it was quickly expanded to include all spirits.
May 11th: Lemuria
The festival of Lemuria continues...
May 13th: Lemuria
The final day of Lemuria...
May 15th: Mercuralia
The Festival of Mercury, also known as Mercuralia, is a Roman festival that honours the god Mercury. Mercury is associated with communication, travel, neighbours, siblings, technology, commerce and trade. Offerings often involve meat, cakes and flowers, and are thought to help bring you favour from the god for travel and trade.
May 23rd: Rosalia
The festival of Rosalia honours the goddess Flora from ancient Rome, who is associated with flowers (particularlu roses) and fertility. This time is also linked to ancestor veneration, and is a good opportunity to visit the graves of your loved ones and offer flowers.
The dates for Rosalia can vary.