I'm glad to say that all preparations for Beltane are complete. The bonfire, made of a whole mountain of pallets, is ready to go at 10pm sharp tonight. And thanks to a loophole, burning them for religious purposes is defined as "recycling or re-use" and entitles us to an Eu grant.
Beltane is an important and ancient festival. Naturally, since the ancient Beaker Folk didn't leave anything in writing, we don't know much about it. But we reckon it was probably something to do with fertility. These things mostly were. In ancient times (eg Hardy novels) the young people of the village would head into the woods on May Eve and not come back until the morning. Which explains why the Beaker Fertility Folk have been looking forward to this evening for months. The Jack in the Green, burnt after the Samhain festivals the previous autumn, would be recreated in the fresh leaves of the coming season and readied for another summer of dancing. The 'obby Oss would race around the settlement, harrassing maidens (or men - the ancient Beaker Folk were an equal opportunities religion). We reckon.
A few bits of advice before the Great Day Tomorrow.
The pebbles piled up in the Orchard are for throwing at the Morris Dancers. Please don't mis-use them for religious purposes.
The Maypole is an ancient fertility symbol and to be treated with respect. Shouting "ooh-er missus - what a whopper" is unacceptable.
When we are singing "Summer is i-cumen in", chasing after Burton Dassett with armfuls of willow, matches and a wild look is also wrong.
For this year's Mead Tasting, competitors will strictly limited to one small glass per sample. The shameful events of last year, when Selwy ended up laying on the ground shouting that she was channeling the spirit of a bee, are not to be repeated.