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Here We Go

May Blossom

Knots of May

Once upon a time, as all good stories start, one of the important times in the year was when the chance of the weather receding into winter, had receded.
In the days when most people rose with the sun and worked until sunset, the most common activity involved herding sheep and cattle. Now, all the sheep and cattle we know are reasonably communicative, but their grasp of the concept of working for six days and resting on the seventh, is hazy. So this pastoral community had very little need for a detailed calendar. The coming of spring and the opportunity to release the farm animals to graze the pastures was marked by the festival of Beltane.
But how were we to know when Beltane came? While it was certainly no guarantee, the blossoming of the May bushes was a reasonable indication that summer was on its way. So the May Queen and possibly a May King became a part of the celebrations and children would collect the bunches of May flowers from the hedges along the lanes – singing the latest catchy ditty from the Minstrel’s Hot Hundred, “Here We Go Gathering Knots of May”.

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