The Beltania Festival is for everyone that wants to participate! And, when we say ALL ARE WELCOME, we truly mean it. The Rainbow Welcome Center has been set up to welcome you to the festival and create a safe place where you can truly be yourself. With your participation, the 2017 Festival will be one of the best ones yet.
The Beltania festival represents and celebrates diversity in all aspects of our lives. We strive to provide a safe and welcoming space so everyone can truly be themselves. The RWC is the epicenter of this celebration of diversity and sponsors/participates in many events through out the festival. Please stop by to say hello, receive a free Beltania 2017 commemorative wristband and make a wish/prayer on a ribbon for the maypole dance. We will be located to front of Inglis Hall.
Events at the 2017 festival:
Mead and Meet:
Please join the RWC for an opportunity to meet some of your fellow festival goers and enjoy a variety of locally made mead. All are welcome and encouraged to bring a bottle of mead to share. We will supply the tasting cups. Due to alcohol being shared, this will be an adult only event.
Children’s Ribbon Parade
We will be having a parade on Friday to infuse the ribbons with some child energy. The parade will be led by the children of the festival as well as those that are sometimes childlike at heart. Please come and join us, bring your drums or other noise makers to join in and encourage the frolic to infuse the energy into the ribbons.
RWC Alphabet Soup Social
The Rainbow Welcome Center sets aside some time to socialize and collaborate with fellow festival goers. We share similar experiences and what the festival means to us. No matter where you might fall in the Alphabet acronym, you are welcome to come to one of the socials held in the RWC.
If you are interested in helping to organize and staff the safe space at the Rainbow Welcome Center, as well as fulfill one of your work shift requirements, then email AllAreWelcome@beltania.org for more information. We look forward to hearing from you – we truly mean ALL ARE WELCOME!
About the Maypole Dance
The Maypole Dance is the highlight event of Beltania. You may have experienced or heard about a Maypole dance before and, like many of us, found it to be heterocentrist, sexist, and cis-gendered to the point of alienating many who identify differently or who believe in full equality and representation. So, we have transformed the Maypole Dance, through our intention, participation, words, and symbols, into a BIG GIANT RAINBOW of inclusivity and celebration of love in all its forms!
Traditionally, the Maypole dance is a celebration of heterosexual fertility. The pole represents the phallus, and the white and red ribbons represent the innocent, inexperienced female, and the blood of lost virginity and of childbirth. Only young, pretty, fertile virgin girls in pretty white dresses could dance around the Maypole and so on.
Our Maypole Dance, however, takes on new meaning. The opening in the Earth and the wreath (placed atop the ribbons) represents the Divine Feminine. The pole represents the Divine Masculine. Both are important and necessary, and people of all gender identities help with the preparation. Red and white ribbons are replaced with a riotous array of rainbow colored ribbons representing the diversity of all orientations and lifestyles, the essence which blesses and unites us all. The ribbons are held by the Rainbow Welcome Center, prepared and blessed by those members of our rainbow community who feel called to do so. We connect with the children of the festival in celebration and joyfulness to infuse the special magic of childhood. And it is our honor to carry and present the ribbons in the parade. As the ribbons are attached to the pole and raised up, they form an umbrella of inclusion and rainbow-themed celebration that is the only thing that allows the dance of ALL PEOPLE to proceed.
Everyone is invited to kiss their loved one under the ribbons during the dancing and drumming!Â Come be a part of the Rainbow Welcome Center and reinvent the true meaning of the Maypole Ribbon Dance!