The past couple of years I wrote monthly and "two monthly" updates on the blog. I enjoyed it, but as I said in the November/December 2020 update post, I prefer doing them less often because I found it harder fitting them in with the other seasonal posts. So, I've decided to do quarterly "season to season" posts instead this year.
Here is the winter to spring update. :) Also, Beltane is coming up on 1st May, so I've made this a "double post". Scroll down for the Beltane section. :)
In January we went into another lockdown in England (our 3rd since March last year, when the coronavirus spread worldwide). I was disappointed but this one wasn't as bad as the first one, since it was quite similar to the 2nd lockdown in November.
So, I wasn't up to much during the first part of year. I went for my weekly park walks and also went to the beach, although it was cold! I wrote a post sharing some winter photos, and also with ideas for preparing for spring. Check it out to see some pics from January and February: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2021/03/winter-photos-preparing-for-spring.html
At the beginning of February, I celebrated Imbolg. You can read about my celebration here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2021/02/imbolg-2021.html
It seemed colder than last winter but we only got a bit of snow in early Feb.
At the beginning of March, it was my birthday. It was my first "lockdown birthday" (since last year's lockdown didn't happen till late March), but I was able to get some Nando's because it was open for takeaway and delivery.
I had my usual chicken butterfly (plain-ish) and chips. There's no picture but you can see one from last year here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/05/marchapril-update-baking-inspiration.html
I got a Coke from Burger King because I like having drinks with syrup and ice, and Nando's was only doing cans, lol. I also had Nando's carrot cake for pudding (dessert) and had some chocolate gelado as well.
21st March was the Spring Equinox aka Oestara/Ostara and the official start of spring. You can read my post about Oestara here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2021/03/oestara-2021.html
In late March I went to Lancing Beach at sunset and went for a walk. Here are a couple of pics:
A roadmap for lifting lockdown was announced in March, which included kids going back to school last month and non-essential shops opening this month.
Easter was in early April. I didn't write a separate Easter post this year, but I'll cover it in my spring-summer update. :)
So now we're already past the first quarter of the year, which seems strange! January feels like 5 minutes ago, lol. Hope everyone is doing ok. :)
Beltane is coming up on 1st May (Saturday this year). (Or on Friday 31st April if you celebrate from sundown to sundown as some people do). The past few years I've written some posts with celebration and inspiration ideas. This year I decided to do a round-up of my Beltane posts, plus some posts from other people . :)
Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere Samhain is coming! Check out my Samhain Celebration posts here:
Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html
More Hallowe'en/Samhain Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/more-halloweensamhain-celebration-ideas.html
Celebrating Samhain/Hallowe'en: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/celebrating-samhainhalloween.html
Samhain/Hallowe'en Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/10/samhainhalloween-inspiration.html
More Samhain/Hallowe'en Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/10/more-samhainhalloween-inspiration.html
Beltane is the 3rd and final spring festival on the Wheel of the Year. The others are Imbolg/Imbolc in early February and Oestara/Ostara aka the Spring Equinox in mid-late March. This is a fire festival linked to the Fire God Bel. Another theme is fertility and it also marks the beginning of summer, although the "official" and astrological start of summer is Litha aka the Summer Solstice, or Midsummer, in mid-late June.
You can find more information and celebration ideas in my posts from previous years below:
Beltane (2014): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2014/05/beltane.html
Beltane Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/04/beltane-celebration-ideas.html
Beltane 2017: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/05/beltane-2017.html
Celebrating Beltane/May Day: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/04/celebrating-beltanemay-day.html
April Update + Beltane Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/04/april-update-beltane-inspiration.html
More Beltane Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/04/more-beltane-inspiration.html
And here are some posts from other sites:
Recipe for a chamomile poundcake: https://witchwithme.com/2020/04/28/a-magickal-recipe-for-beltane-chamomile-poundcake-with-salted-honey-icing/
Ideas for celebrating fertility at Beltane: https://www.tomakeamommy.com/celebrating-fertility-beltane/
Witchcrafted Life post about pantry staple foods for Beltane: https://witchcraftedlife.com/15-non-perishable-foods-for-beltane-and-their-magickal-properties/
It's now been over a year since most of the world first went into lockdown/quarantines because of the coronavirus. While in England and the rest of the UK we're starting to come out of lockdown, we're still facing restrictions. And depending where you are, you may currently be in lockdown.
I thought it would be useful to share this post from Tess Whitehurst again (originally linked to in last year's post), with some quarantine friendly ideas for Beltane: https://tesswhitehurst.com/8-quarantine-friendly-beltane-ideas-8/
Since it's a fertility festival you may just want to have a romantic day at home anyway! lol. There are also some indoor ideas in the posts above. :)
My usual celebration is making food and drink. Last Beltane I made this avocado salad from Precious Core: https://www.preciouscore.com/simple-healthy-avocado-salad
I'm planning to make it again this year. And in 2019 I made Kachumbari (Kenyan tomato and onion salad), also a recipe from Precious' site. You can find some more salads in last year's Litha + Summer Inspiration post that also fit Beltane: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/06/litha-summer-inspiration.html
I normally make guacamole using a recipe from The Kitchen Witch by Soraya, but I think this year I may take a break from making it and buy some for a change! I wrote a bit about food and meal ideas in last year's Beltane post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/04/more-beltane-inspiration.html
I will have the salad with some other bits for my lunch, like bread and chicken drumsticks. I'll also have an elderflower or lemonade drink.
A couple of other things I like to do are light a white candle (since it's a fire festival) and go for a walk at sunset, which I like to do for sabbats in the warmer months! I'm thinking of going to the beach this Beltane. Last year we were only allowed out for exercise once a day, but we don't have that restriction currently.
Hope that gave you some inspiration for celebrating Beltane! I will post about my celebration next week. Happy Beltane! (Or Samhain!). :)
Photo: Blossom trees in Hove Park. Moonsparkle 2021.