Calan Mai for the year 2023 is celebrated/observed on Monday, May 1st. There are until the next observance.
Calan Mai, also known as Calan Haf, is the yearly celebration of the first day of summer in Welsh tradition, conducted on the first of May, as the name suggests. This is a notable day for celebrations in Wales, since some druidic traditions and rites are still practiced today. The May Eve festivities begin with bonfires. The night before (Welsh: Nos Galan Haf) is considered a “Ysbrydnos,” or “spirit night,” when spirits are active and divination is possible. South Wales had an annual tradition of lighting bonfires to celebrate this date until the mid-nineteenth century. Calan Mai is related to Beltane and other European May Day traditions.
📆 When is Calan Mai?
This year, Calan Mai is on May 1st. It is the 1st Monday in May; in 2024, it is on Wednesday.
→ Did you know: Wales has the most castles per square mile of any country on earth.
You can also discover all interesting things you didn’t know about and facts about May 1, 2023.
📜 History of Calan Mai
Calan Mai marked the arrival of spring as well as the beginning of a new agricultural cycle. The ancient Welsh farmers celebrated because it signaled the start of a season of plentiful crops. It was also the time of year when animals emerged from their winter slumber. As a result, some farmers would celebrate the day their cattle began their seasonal grazing in the forest. In ancient times, the first of May was celebrated as the start of a new spring, the conclusion of a long winter, and the arrival of warm weather. People would often dance, sing, and eat together as a way to celebrate the joy of summer warmth.
The Calan Mai Festival, which is being held in Wales right now, brings together all of these old traditions.
☑️ Calan Mai facts
✅ The names of the towns are long
The world’s second-longest place name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, a Welsh village.
✅ Mount Everest named after a Welshman
Sir George Everest was the surveyor who named Mount Everest after Sir George Everest.
✅ Highest mountain in Wales
Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa) is Wales’ highest peak, standing at 1,085 meters (3,560 ft).
✨ Things to do on Calan Mai
⚡ Decorate your home
Locals picked branches and flowers on May Eve to decorate their houses and celebrate growth and fertility. As part of the festivities, you may do the same.
⚡ Participate in summer dancing
On May mornings, accompanied by harpists or fiddlers, singers would visit residences to share their seasonal joy with the townsfolk. If their singing was considered worthy, they would be rewarded with food, wine, and maybe money.
⚡ Try the food
During the Calan Mai festivities, metheglin or mead were popular beverages. Often, it was made with herbs like woodruff, a fragrant shrub that was often used to make traditional wine.
📅 Calan Mai Observances
See all May holidays, including Special Interest and other Activities holidays.
We will continue to update this page with new information and cool facts about Calan Mai. So be sure to check back soon.