This morning at work a co-worker asked if I was celebrating Beltane today. I never heard of it before, and said so. He explained it as being an Irish and Scottish holiday that had something to do with ushering in Spring and fairies appearing. From my limited research he’s not totally far off. I’m not going to make this post a research paper on the holiday, but I just wanted to see if anything he was saying was true. Why am I so interested? Am I planning on taking up celebrating this holiday? No, I have other reasons. He was talking about it in a manner that implied that he does not take the holiday seriously, that it was all a joke. To an extent I can share such feelings about religious events. The point is that he’s very religious as a Christian.
Naturally I now have the urge to celebrate the holiday in response. I don’t, as I don’t belong to the religions that celebrate it. I’m not even Irish or Scottish.* Besides, if I do this for one holiday, why not celebrate every holiday every day there is one? Actually, that could be fun at first, but exhausting. Besides, I don’t want to waste my time taking part in ceremonies that I don’t believe in. One might wonder if I bother with any holidays throughout the year. I suppose I do for some of the government-observed holidays such as Veteran’s Day or Labor Day, but only to the extent of taking a road trip where the tourists are. With all of my complaints of tourists invading my own town, I’m still perfectly willing to join them if my schedule allows.
There are a few days that one could call my “holidays….” although considering the word comes from “holy day” I don’t really like using it. I will for the sake of conversation, but I usually refer to whatever day it is I’m observing only by it’s proper name. For the most part I have adopted the Satanic holidays, except for Walpurgisnacht. I still haven’t figured out what exactly they’re celebrating with that one. My most important day is my own birthday. Next comes Halloween, which I use as a celebration of all that is dark and creepy. Okay, I often do that anyway, but on Halloween I can go out in the open with black make-up and nobody questions it. I observe the solstices and Equinoxes as minor holidays. I don’t really do anything with them but give them thought. I also never remember exactly when they are anyway as I don’t own a calender.
There are several days throughout the year that my family gets together for a meal or two, which I take part in but don’t exactly celebrate. Their birthdays are important, but more so to them than me. However, those are days that I can get behind. Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving are also days the family gets together for. I can’t get behind those, but I take part just the same. I wish that we would stop exchanging gifts on Christmas, but that idea keeps getting shot down every year.
By the way, I have not, nor will I ever, celebrate Festivus. Stop asking.
*Actually, I’m not one-hundred percent sure about that. I may have a small amount of Irish heritage on my mother’s side. I’ve also heard stories that the Marston family did move around Great Britain before emigrating to the colonies, opening the possibility of some Scottish blood in there as well. I haven’t validated any of this so as far as I know, if I’m not completely of English descent, it’s certainly prevalent.