Quarter Days in British and Irish tradition, were the four dates in each year on which servants were hired, and rents were due.
Lady Day 25 March
Midsummer Day 24 June
Michaelmas 29 September
Christmas 25 December
Cross Quarter Days were marked by pagan festivals
Candlemas 2 Feb
May Day 1 May
Lammas 1 Aug
Hallowmas 1 Nov
And so, as it is 1 May, I am posting.
May Day (also called Beltane) was the pagan festival for the coming of spring.
Traditional British May Day rites include Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen and a maypole. It was all to celebrate springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock, and people) It marked the beginning of summer and was when cattle were driven out to the summer pastures. Rituals were performed to protect the cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth. Special bonfires were kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective powers. The people and their cattle would walk around the bonfire, or between two bonfires, and sometimes leap over flames or embers. All household fires would be doused and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire. Doors, windows, byres and the cattle themselves would be decorated with yellow May flowers, perhaps because they evoked fire.
Today I will not be lighting any bonfires, or dancing through the streets with flowers in my hair. Today, as all days, I will be sitting down to writing at some point. I have wrestled through some pertinent issues with LADY OLIVIA'S UNDOING, and I feel it is almost ready to finish. So yay for me.
In other news, I have already begun THE LADY'S SECRET, and have slowly started to piece together the outline for THE SEDUCTION OF MR. SUMMERVILLE, the last book in The Reluctant Grooms series.
A few months ago, I posted on the topic of having a newsletter, a website, or a blog. I've been blogging for almost 5 years, and now, as a published author, my time is very limited to what I can and cannot achieve in the course of a mere 24 hours. This blog will now take the place of all three. (If you'd like to sign up for the email version of this blog, the widget is on my sidebar.) That way you will be sure to know when my next books will be out, what I'm up to, etc., and so forth.
Happy May Day! I'll see you next on 24 June -- Midsummer Day.
Anne Gallagher (c) 2014