Medieval mayfest

Spring is a time for celebration!

In the presentation below, I talk about some of the traditions of the ancient Celtic holiday, Beltane, also known as May Day. Troubadour songs are also steeped in themes revolving around the blossoming of spring, and you can watch my rendition of Raimbaut de Vaquieras’ song “Kalenda Maia” which means “The first of May.” This song uses a melody from a stately medieval dance called an estampie.

Since you can’t have a Medieval Mayfest without dancing and sing-a-longs, the presentation includes a Maypole dance and the Abbots Bromely Horn Dance. With some help from my family, I teach the sing the English folk-song “Hal-an-Tow,” and the oldest song in English that survives with a melody intact: “Sumer is icumen in.”


If you want to make your own flower crown to celebrate, here is one project that uses free materials found in nature (and makes weeding your yard more fun):

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