Hooray, hooray, the First of May, Outdoor Morris Dancing starts today. For those who are inclined to outdoor pursuits, May 1 is a special day to celebrate. It is more than just the midpoint between the Spring equinox and Summer solstice.
In some villages in England locals will be putting up a May Pole, crowning a Queen of the May and perhaps tying bells to their socks and dancing.
Meanwhile in Germany, people are relieved that Walpurgisnacht (Witches Night) is over and evil spirits have once more been cast into darkness.
May Day celebrations can be traced back to the Florala or festival of Flora which was held to worship the Roman goddess of flowers.
In the Celtic tradition today is Beltane the fire festival that marks the beginning of summer, a time for outdoor sexual proclivities and perhaps a human sacrifice to enhance fertility.
We will take a more moderate approach, merely making and enjoying the Mayflower Martini. This is a fantastic spring flavoured blend of gin and fruit, which comes to us from Harry Craddock’s Savoy cocktail book. It may refer to the flowers that bloom this month or to the affluent neighbourhood in west London. Mayfair became well known for the annual “May Fair” that took place from 1686 to 1764 in what is now Shepherd Market.