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9ft in Common - Ways to celebrate Bealtaine

One of the most significant dates in ancient Ireland was the Festival Of Bealtaine. Bealtaine means “Bright Fire”, thus celebrated as the Fire Festival with bonfires to honour the sun. Occurs at the beginning of May, the cross quarter day marking the midway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice.

Here are three suggestions of simple but meaningful things you can do to mark the seasonal celebration of Bealtaine in your alley.

Be a Botanist!

What flowers – both wild and cultivated – can you spot pushing up through the warming ground, gaps in the walls and the cracks in the pavement?

Flowers, especially yellow flowers, represent the fertility and lushness of the season. Could you bring potted plants and flowers into the alley, transforming it into a green, blossoming space? 

We’ve created a fun ‘Wildflower Bingo’ sheet. Why not take some pals or family members on an alley walk near you and see how many of them you can find.

Download your 'Wildflower Bingo' sheet. - (Link opens in new window)

Share Stories & Songs

Bring friends and neighbours together for a storytelling or music session.  Share stories and memories of alleyways and adventures, hopes and plans for summer. 

Do you have a song in you, or a story that wants to be told?  What songs could you and your neighbours add to an alley-themed playlist, and play on a portable speaker for all the alley to enjoy? 


Check Your Boundaries

A lesser known Bealtaine tradition was walking the circuit of one’s property (beating the bounds), repairing fences and boundary markers. 

Could you paint your gate, tidy-up your walls or oil some hinges?  Could you maybe mend some fences – literal or symbolic?

Share how you are marking Bealtaine in your alley with us – tag @9ftincommon on Instagram and X/Twitter.

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