"See the blazing Yule before us..." This is just one of the many ancient British folk songs we all know and love. Other tunes and symbols that tug on our memories have similar historical roots, hearkening back to a shared Pagan past. These dances, songs, and theatrical plays in the English folk tradition are now little known to most of the modern Pagan community. Reviving these vital traditions can bring new life to Renaissance festivals, neopagan rituals, and community events.
Introducing the lively music and homegrown entertainments of times long past, this descriptive how-to is designed for twenty-first-century joviality. The songs, dances, and plays of old are explained in their mythical, seasonal, and historical significance and outlined for easy reenactment. Simple-to-follow instructions detail six dances including the popular Abbots Bromley Horn dance, six full scripts for dramatic performances of Mummer's Plays (folk plays of death and rebirth), and over thirty songs with lyrics and music. Kick up your heels, hold high your skirts, and make merry the year through.
Maypole dancing is community celebration of Beltane, from the youngest to the oldest. However, it is often difficult for little legs to keep up with the adults, and young children tend to tucker out long before they can weave their ribbon around an often ten- or twelve-foot Maypole. What can be done to ensure that kids get as much enjoyment about of the community Beltane celebration of Maypole dancing? Bronwen Forbes, author of Make Merry in Step and Song, details how to make Maypole dances fun for all.
With its focus on fun and frivolity, it's no wonder Beltane is one of the most festive Sabbats of the year for many modern Pagans. Held each year on or around May 1st, Beltane is a celebration of vitality, fertility, strength, and growth reflecting a blending of many traditions. It gets its name from the pre-Christian Celtic Bealtaine, which... read this article