Frolicking and dancing in the predawn chill, to bring up the sun and welcome in the May! And you can see how well it worked, in this loudly cheered appearance of El Sol at Beltane in the Baylands this morning.
We got there in time to see the Mad Molly dancers performing their silliness.
And the Deer Creek Morris team enacting the traditional dances, with hankies and more ribaldry.
You can see that Morris dancing keeps you young, as this fellow demonstrates as he dances with a pink carnation tucked behind his ear.
Of course none of this could happen without the indispensable and extremely dextrous musicians; this drummer manages his drum and a recorder simultaneously.
Once the sun is successfully danced up, all present are invited to join in a great circle dance called “The Beginning of the World”. Here are some happy dancers, one of whom you might recognize, having rather a smashing good time trying to follow the steps (this is quintessentially English after all).
After the festivities the Deer Creek Morris dancers pose with their props and pomp.
One of the Mad Molly dancers strikes a ferocious stance.
And not to forget our other celestial visitor in all this sunwise madness, La Luna, still quite full though waning, makes her appearance in her watery aspect, reflected in the waters of the bay.
In the old Celtic calendar, May Day is the first day of summer (thus summer solstice is called Midsummer), and here in northern California we are having some beautiful blue skies and the temperatures are warming up. “We were up, long before the day-o, to welcome in the summer, to welcome in the day-o, for summer is a-coming in, and winter’s gone away-o . . .”