May The First Be With You ...

Benefitz Betty's picture

Of Olde the 1st of May was celebrated after the longest night in the Broomstick holders calender, still revered by many on Walpurgis Night at 30th April, when the astral planes between the living and the dead was said to be at its thinnest. Not a good night for new age muggles to be playing with their O'boards.   Nevertheless a good night for a scream if thats your kinda thing, hence the usual date for the Goth weekend, but for most seeking a more natural envrionment a night to close the doors to the demons that may be tempted by the living human's insufferable attempts to peer beyond the doors or gateways to the other side. Or, alternatively huddle around an open fire with plenty of salt and purified water at bay afore the deep Spring cleanse.  Brooms n fiddlesticks, out with the olde and in with the new ... pots, jams, pans, those seeds and berries have to be planted and stored somewhere. 

So named as the Eve of the Saint Walpurga an 8th Century Abbess of Francia, not to be confused with France, the land of the Franks.  (A Middleaged confederation of West German tribes also known as Hexennacht).   The pilgrimage to Brocken, the highest of the North German Harz peaks is still carried out todate. Brocken Harzed.

You can get there by rail :  "almost 3,800ft above sea level on a snow-capped, wind-chilled summit at the end of a 20-mile train ride of almost continuous climbing up gradients as steep as 1 in 30, pausing only at the stations of Drei Annen Hohne and Schierke so that the water tanks of the powerful 1950s-built locomotives that work the line could be replenished...."

"The Brocken occupies a special place in German history. In legend it was the home of witches and the devil, helping to inspire Goethe when he wrote the play Faust, now staged in the summit hotel as a rock opera several times a year. From 1961 to 1991 the mountain symbolised the division of Germany, out of bounds to the public because of its position on the border between West and East Germany and the listening posts perched at the summit operated by Soviet and East German intelligence agencies to snoop on the West...

"Quedlinburg was only linked to the network's Selketal line in 2006 (Skeletol) ... Unesco granted Quedlinburg World Heritage status in 1994, describing it as "an extraordinary example of a medieval European town".

"Quedlinburg is not the only town in the region with Unesco World Heritage status. At the western end of the Harz mountains is Goslar, another settlement which escaped the attentions of Allied bombers and artillery during the war. Here too, medieval half-timbered buildings dominate the heart of the town, which in the early Middle Ages was one of the most important settlements in the Holy Roman Empire, with a palace - the Kaiserhaus - set on a hill looking out across the town, providing a home for the emperors when they visited...

"Over the centuries the palace complex fell into disuse, with its cathedral demolished and the Kaiserhaus left in ruins. With German unification in the late 19th century came a drive to rebuild the palace and the grand mural-lined main hall is well worth a visit.

Among the most impressive of the half-timbered buildings in the streets below is the Siemens House, the ancestral home of the family of industrialists, built in 1693 and combining a home, office, warehouse space and a brewery. While it was sold in 1778, members of the family bought it back in 1916 to use as an archive and venue for reunions. It can be visited by members of the public on guided tours of the town. What made Goslar so important in the past was what was found in the rocks of the Rammelsberg mountain, just to the south...." Fascinating stuff : A Hardt Act to Follow

What of St Walpurga?  An English Nun from Devon who was Canonized on 1st May c870 ... hence Walpurgisnacht, the Eve of May Day.

Nope tis not a Tarot Card ... who needs Tarot when there is good old google, Wikki or Waco.  Sssh.

Anyhoos, May day is a combination of olde pagan and Walpurgis traditions and is celebrated today throughout Northern Europe, by the dancing around of a wooden stake, or pole.   By invitation only, perhaps, the purpose is to celebrate the Eternal Spring of love as warmer weather brings out the flowers and trees to blossom. ..

Unlike the variable Easter, as set by the Moon,  the festivities of May Day are fixed.  Ah, so ... Whitby, will Whitby ever receive World Heritage status?

Erm, a slight problem?  In the 'olde' days of the Goth fires would be lit on the beach and frivolities would circle around the flames.

Then again "If it aint' Brocken don't fix it" ... Spiritz.

Another tradition fixed within May is that of the Morris Dancers ... lots of hanky flapping.  Bees n Bonnets.


Goeth olde and new.

Labour Day my a*se ...  May the force be with you.

Ooops... distracted.



Benefitz Betty's picture

SN: Smugglers

"... Whoever buys the derelict pub will also inherit a local legend. Built as a farmhouse in 1648, it was converted into an inn in the early 1700s. Known originally as the Waggon and Horses, it became a smugglers’ haven and prospered thanks to an illegal trade in salt.

Thanks to the inn’s high vantage point, customs and excise men could easily be seen approaching. However, one unlucky tax man met a bloody end when he caught the smugglers red-handed and was murdered. They buried his corpse under the fireplace and the landlord insisted that the fire should be kept burning so no-one would find the evidence. Legend had it that if the fire went out the ghost would come back to haunt the hostelry and the community would be beset by the plague. Successive landlords kept the peat fire smouldering for over 200 years until the business closed.

The fireplace is still in the building but the surround was taken out by the owner in 2010 when he was preparing to renovate the property. Surveyor Tom Dales, of Allsop, who is working on behalf of the pub’s owner, said: “The surround was in poor condition and our client removed it for safe keeping while the initial work was going on. It can be restored and he is happy to let a new owner have the surround.”

The North York Moors National Park Authority has confirmed that the planning permission to convert the Saltersgate Inn into a hotel is applicable indefinitely."