Today is Beltane, or Mayday – a festival celebrating fertility, physical labour and the beginning of summer. According to the variant of the Green Man myth prevalent in northern Europe, Beltane is when the Holly King dies, leaving the Oak King to rule the Earth alone until midsummer, when the Holly King is reborn.
From Rudyard Kipling’s Oak, Ash and Thorn…
Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,
Or he would call it a sin;
But we have been out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring Summer in!