Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day /Walpurgis Night/Valborg

The flowers are back. And so am I, ready to blog again!
We had an unseasonal snow just 10 days ago, with hail and potato chip size snow flakes coming down, then two days ago we were out in the yard in sleeveless shirts. This is what they call April weather, I hear, the unpredicatable waffling between warm and cold that precedes the arrival of true warm spring days.

April snow flakes on my emerging Rhubarb. Such an amazing plant, huge leaves and tasty tart stalks will unfurl from these tight knobby buds.
But with just one really warm sunny day, suddenly the air was full of the heavy spring scents of things coming to life, the daffodils opened up, and the baby greeted spring by walking to each flower and waving 'hi!'
Enjoying the warm days in her swing. She crawls out of our bed each day and returns to her sleepy mother with shoes in hand, demanding we go outside. NOW. She needs to learn the 'not before my coffee' rule.
Valborg Night is the night for bonfires. If you have a yard and have done some tending to it, you understand the practical nature of these fires....you end up with lots of dead debris after the fall and winter. Coming from the tropics, I am amazed at the sheer volume of biological mass that lives and dies with a season. We have been busy clearing our yard to make room for the new, and these bonfires are a practical and fun way to get rid of the mass of branches you are left with.

Children got torches, and we paraded through the village streets with a marching band. SwedeGirl took the responsibilty of carrying fire very, very seriously, she was a bit tense, actually!!!
The swedes seems to think nothing of arming an entire village worth of children with fire and setting them off into the streets, though! Ah, so unamerican!
Cute story book looking cottage along the walk....
Ready to burn!
Huge Pile!
A speech, a song, three hurrahs and the children toss their torches onto the pile to light it!
The children running and playing in the smoke
Tubas a-flame!!!!
Beltane, May Day, Walpurg.....setting fires, burning clean.
The beginning of a new season with lots of room to grow.

2 comments:

Karen said...

what a cool (and even practical) tradition! Everybody loves a good bonfire!
Did you do one at home in your yard as well?

SwedeLife said...

No, we need one though!!! We have a wall of branches we have been building and covering up with grass moved from unwanted places, a bucnh being made into a lean to teepee like fort in the woods, and still more that are in another pile. If you have a trailer you can bring your stuff to the community fire, but we need to burn ours here.