Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day

as many of you know, i dont celebrate holidays. "christmas spirit" for me includes a protest of capitalist consumer culture and a resistance to christian privilege. valentines day is just another way to make couples spend money and to make single people feel like losers. the 4th of july...aka "celebrate white people's independence day"... totally ignores the roots of slavery and racism in this country and expects us to decorate our houses with various items painted in red white and blue to prove our patriotism (all items can conveniently be purchased at walmart). dont even get me started on rape and pillage day....err, i mean thanksgiving.

it is a common joke that the only holiday that i can celebrate these days is arbor day because come on, who can argue against trees?? but alas! i think i might have found another one! *drum roll*.......................may day.

now many of you know may day as international workers rights day where we celebrate labor unions, equal pay and other various labor rights issues. while i dont have any particular beef with this interpretation of may day what i learned today is that the roots of may day arent actually with labor rights.... it has to do with FERTILITY! *yay!*

apparently much of our present day knowledge about may day stems from the ancient celtic tradition called beltane (which btw means "return of the sun"). historically beltane was a time for celebration of spring and fertility.

"Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It's the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around."

apparently the beltane season is a perfect time for planting a garden or starting a family. (hence the relevance to this blog.) there are lots of ways that the beltane season is celebrated across the world but here are just a few that we are considering:
  1. "In ancient Rome, it wasn’t uncommon for the master of the land to take his wife out to the fields and have sex right there on the ground. If you had a lot of land, this could take all day, but it was practically guaranteed to ensure that the field would be fertile and productive once your slaves got the planting done."

    (ok... there are clearly a number of issues with this option. first, we have low fences in our back yard. second, there are tons of pine cones and pine needles on the ground that could prove to be quite uncomfortable. third, we have yet to pick up the dog poop from the last snow storm. and finally, we dont have slaves)

  2. "In some traditions, menstruating women add a bit of their blood to the soil to add potency. It's a scientific fact that blood contains a lot of nutrients, so it makes sense to blend this in with the dirt before planting."

    (Aunt Flo is currently visiting NM but im not sure that one woman is enough. is anyone else available to come share your "nutrients" with our back yard?)

  3. "In Crete, a sword dance called the Kuortes was held each spring. During the Kourtes, a group of men gathered together, moving in unison with sticks or swords. Although it sounds warrior-like, it wasn’t a martial dance but one that scholars say promoted fertility. If you think about it, banging a stick or sword on the freshly plowed earth has quite a bit of fertility symbolism."

    (the only men we know are gay so i fear that they would bang swords against swords rather than against the earth. *slapping my knee*... get it? banging swords?? *drying my eyes* gay-male humor is the best)

  4. "In Nagoya, Japan, residents still celebrate the annual Honen-sai festival. This is held each year in the spring, to make sure the crops will be plentiful, and includes a parade - the highlight of which is a giant penis on a float. The penis, carved from a cypress tree, is about fourteen feet long and quite impressive indeed."

    (since i work with victims everyday im afraid that a 14 foot penis might put me over the edge. i already have to practically beg my body to not kill sperm!)

anywhoo... the point of this post is that today is fertility day which i think is a great sign of things to come. *big smile*

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