Beltane the spring festival: October 31

by | Oct 30, 2011 | Uncategorized | 9 comments

It’s peak greening time – halfway between spring equinox and summer solstice. Everything is growing apace. The nikaus are brightly spreading their fans,

pohutukawas are pushing out new, light green foliage,

and everywhere, the cabbage trees are flowering.

A profuse flowering is said to be a forerunner to a long, hot summer.

And in the bush, the hen and chicken fern is putting out lots of little babies. Each ‘chicken’ will grow into a whole new fern. Beltane is associated with procreation and fertility, and that’s exactly what nature is demonstrating.
I invite you to wear a sprig of green in your buttonhole tomorrow, October 31, and celebrate high spring.


  1. Joan

    I’ll be wearing my green Juliet! Thank you for leading us in festivals of meaning in Aotearoa.. NZ. happy Beltane.

  2. lifeonthecutoff

    Happy Spring.
    I love the look of those cabbage trees. I’ve never seen them before. How grand it is to see them here as you celebrate Beltane.

  3. juliet

    Thank you Joan, I’m just pinning mine on now before I go out. Penny, the cabbage trees are a real icon of NZ – Maori used to eat the pithy insides, which is a bit like tapioca. The flowers have a sweet scent.

  4. Marja

    oh lovely I love the pahutukawa tree and I cabbage trees Never noticed them carrying flowers Must look better next time

  5. juliet

    Marja, thanks for visiting. Once you start noticing the cabbage tree flowers you will see them everywhere! – unless they are not yet flowering down south perhaps.

  6. Hilary

    Hi Juliet .. love the photos and different plants you’ve shown us .. most I don’t recognise .. aren’t they glorious though in their different shades of spring greens ..

    Thanks – lovely to see on a gloomy (warmish though!) Autumn Firework day here .. cheers Hilary

  7. Anne Dean Ruffell

    The pictures today make me long to be in Auckland again and see everything for myself – but it won’t be long now. And I’m pleased that the cabbage trees are predicting a long warm summer!

  8. Shirlene Johnston

    The Nikau symbolises my opening up, releasing and allowing
    space to reveal strong connections in myself and in my life!
    Thanks for reminding me!

    • Juliet Batten

      Shirlene, what inspiring associations with the Nikau! I always enjoy looking at them as the leaves open to the sky. Thank you.


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