Through myth, fairy tale and legend, powerful women are depicted as dark, cruel and calculating, and they are often naturally associated with winter – a season where all warmth withdraws, and the land is covered with snow and ice, and life is no more than a battle of survival against the elements.
May Day is a traditional spring celebration in many cultures, linked with Gaelic Beltane, and is now also the date of Labour Day.
I began writing ‘Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe: A Treasury of British Folklore’ back in April last year.
In the telling of stories, the ghosts of our families still walk, and create a sense of belonging to a vast network of stories that teach us who we are.
Beware! Lock up your children, clutch your mince pies, and huddle in against the snow. Haven’t you heard? Krampus is coming to town …