Beltane: Well-Dressing Party

So, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t plan for any Beltane posts and it’s less than a week away! (It’s been a crazy month…)

One of my favorite Beltane activities is well-dressings. They are just such fun and can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish. Which is why… they make for a great party! I had actually planned to get something like this post into the Spring issue of Pagan Living but it got cut at the last second so I’m glad I remembered Beltane in time to do it here!

Well-dressings are a great Beltane party because they are much more low-key than erecting a full-on maypole in your backyard. In fact, a well-dressing could even be an extension of the coven tea party! The really fantastic thing about wells is that they can be a literal well or just a bowl of water.

For your well-dressing party, you’ll want to use something that’s large enough for everyone to have a hand in decorating it. A real well would be ideal, of course, but a backyard wishing well would also be really sweet as would a fishpond or birdbath (or even a pool!)

Provide materials for your guests to help decorate the well such as ivy garlands (genuine or fake will do just fine), flower garlands, cut stems of flowers, moss, ribbons, etc. You might also consider having enough material to make floral garlands for your hair before you get started. How you decorate your “well” will depend on what kind of base you’re using: if you have a birdbath, you might wind garlands around the tall base and then tie ribbons so they hang down but if you have a pool, you might want to set up a low table so you have something sturdy to decorate next to the “well.”

This is a really fun group activity that you can easily turn into a party with tea and pastries afterward. Well-dressings are an ancient tradition and one that is easy to keep alive today!


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