This fabulous story has made it to Broadway and it’s not the first time the sentiment that pulls out all the stops on spring has echoed over the Great White Way.
Tra la, it’s May, the lusty Month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it’s here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear…
Whence this fragrance wafting through the air?
What sweet feelings does it’s scent transmute?
Whence this perfume floating everywhere?
Don’t you know, it’s that dear forbidden fruit!
Tra la la la la, that dear forbidden fruit.
Was it ever said better? The Lusty Months! Lerner and Loewe adapted this sentiment from T.H. White’s bestselling The Once and Future King for their smash hit Camelot in 1960 (Sir Thomas Malory coined it first in the mid 1400s in Le Morte d’Arthur, but that’s another story). Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet became stars and May Day was forever altered in the modern imagination.
So was Camelot, when it became synonymous with the Kennedy administration over the next four years. It may seem counterintuitive to equate May Day and the legends of Camelot with politics, but May Day is Labour Day in many countries around the world. It’s a day to draw our attention to fair pay and conditions and to to honor the workers that keep our economies flowing. Growing. Blooming.
So what are the traditions, rituals and celebrations at this time of year? There are lots of occasions, dates on our calendars that we may or may not pay attention to. We can feel the rushing growth everywhere—the year is gaining momentum fast now and the energy is anything but sedate. May is named for Maia, the eldest of seven nymphs of the constellation Pleiades.
June is named after the Roman goddess Juno, queen of the gods, and goddess of marriage for June brides. Hers is the story of the golden apple that led to the Trojan War. Speaking of NOT sedate.
Photo, Leis, courtesy of Janine (Mililani, Hawaii, United States)
We can travel west to Hawaii where May 1 is Lei Day, Na Lei o Hawai’I, honoring the instantly recognizable symbol and still vibrant tradition that reaches back into antiquity. Other important days at this time of year are Buddha’s birthday and the Dragon Boat Festival, which spread from China in modern times as an international sport.
The colors of early spring become more robust because April showers bring May flowers. The pale greens, yellows and pinks of early spring give way to lime, saffron and fuscia—stronger colors for stronger emotions—time to dance around the Maypole! In spring we stop thinking and start feeling. It’s time to celebrate love and lust!
Photo, Maypole in Brentwood, California, courtesy of Jengod
You may have noticed, if you were paying attention, that we skipped a workshop and a turning of early spring. We’ll have an announcement soon to explain why, and we think you’ll agree that it’s exciting for a lot of reasons! We’ll be celebrating spring here on the Blog and Facebook (and of course with our own rituals at home—and there’ll be pics) with talk and tidbits about The Ides this weekend, and St. Paddy’s on Monday. The Spring Equinox balance will launch us into spring and we’ll investigate the fools of April too!
We can’t wait for you to join us at our next workshop, The Lusty Months, where we will once again create a ritual, a celebration to connect the past with the present as we reconnect to the turning of the year. In the meantime, share and celebrate with us here on the Blog and Facebook. We’d love to know how YOU’LL be honoring this season of passion with rituals, traditions, and merry making of your own!