13 November 2011

unschool monday :: celebrating the seasons :: beltane


I'm fortunate to have come from a family who celebrates. Any happy point on the calendar was always celebrated when I was growing up, and in style.  Food was an important part of our days, especially the ritual of celebrating the end of the day with a good meal and candles and conversation. It's something Huz and I have taken on happily, and we celebrate anything and everything. Such a great asset to pepper our unschooling days and take note of the seasons and events around us. One thing we've done in recent years is look to the seasons and nature and how other cultures and our ancestors might have celebrated them... Thus, when local children are wandering down the street, Trick or Treating, we are that family again. The ones who celebrate Beltane instead of Halloween. Who leave out offerings for the faeries instead of jack-o-lanterns... Well really, why would you celebrate death, endings and new beginnings where all around you is so fertile and abundant?


Every celebration is an opportunity to learn new things, start new traditions. Have lots of fun. And each time we celebrate, we revisit themes, keeping some traditions and finding new ones, as the owlets understanding of new concepts grows. We've always found the seasons perfect for strewing our paths with activities and concepts throughout our year in a beautiful, circular way...


So for our Betane celebration, we decorated everything in white and red, both symbols of male and female fertility. We filled every vase with flowers from the garden. We lit the fire and burned old paperwork. We placed a round cob of bread on the table, with our red and green salad and dinner... we drank red juice from wine glasses and adorned ourselves in willow wreaths. Beltane is a fantastic celebration of abundance and fertility, known well for rolling and frolicking in the woods, and this was not lost on the owlets who winked at me and Huz and cheered with much woo-hooing... We talked about what we had learned about Beltane, about religion and the changing seasons. We talked of the wonderful summer that lies ahead and our hopes and plans for it. Then we ate cake and danced with our full bellies until darkness fell and owlets headed for bed to dream...


I just wanted to thank all the regular linkup participants on Unschool Mondays. It is a delight to wander around your posts when I have a chance and it's so nice to find inspiration and meet like-minded friends there... Last week I loved reading about art club, a great kids book review resource, spooky stuff, storing art supplies, and thanksgiving preparations. It's well worth going back to last week's post and checking the links!


  1. Lovely! I find it hard to incorporate celebrations in daily life... and now my girls are becoming quite insistent on doing the "mainstream" thing even though my little soul rebels against them!

  2. Your table and especially the bread look so lovely. We also skip Halloween in favor of Reformation Day.

  3. I love this idea. We have never really celebrated Halloween as it's just not a big thing here. Your celebration looks lovely with the leafy crowns and striking table setting.

  4. What a fabulous celebration!
    We need more celebrating in our home... we've lost the knack, it seems.

  5. Fabulous!! Thankyou for solving our halloween aversion, Beltane sounds like a much better thing to celebrate :)

  6. That looks beautiful and delicious! I love seeing how other families live and celebrate. :) Thanks for sharing.


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