May you all have a belting Beltane

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Great excitement this week here at Dunyelping because after much huffing and puffing we’ve finally chosen our tree, stripped it and covered it with lots of colourful ribbons.

‘What,’ I hear you cry, ‘is poor old Chipper going on about this week?’

Well, it’s May 1 on Friday – May Day, one of the most important dates on my calendar.

According to centuries’ old canine customs (and those of you humans too) it’s the festival of Beltane and to celebrate the arrival of summer we’re going to be dancing around that tree which has been transformed outside my kennel into a wonderful Maypole.

The cutting of a great tree and bringing it into the village was an important event in medieval life. Great care was taken choosing the right tree and villages competed to have the tallest. The bark was removed, the trunk smoothed and then decorated with garlands of flowers and those ribbons.

The history of the Maypole dance goes back to pagan times and was connected to the Druids, Wiccans and Romans. May 1 was an important date for Druids because for them that date, Beltane, signified the start of summer and, hopefully, a fruitful growing season.

So, on Friday me and lots of my doggy pals will each grab a ribbon, some forming an inner circle, some an outer one and we’ll prance around the pole intertwining those ribbons into a pretty pattern.

So, happy Friday frolicks folks . Have fun, Chip chip for now, Chipper.