Beltane (Bhealltainn in prendre une année sabbatique) is the third of the Cross-Quarter Daytime Celebrations and falls opposite Samhain on the Wheel Of your Year. These were considered to be the two most important days in the Celtic calendar as they are the most recognized mark of the two most important seasons. It is celebrated on May 1st and is also known as May perhaps Day.
Whereas Samhain is mostly about celebrating and honouring the dead, Beltane is all about life and fertility. This is how the Great Horned God and The Goddess unite to bring aspect into full bloom. Animals are transferred from their cold months pens out to summer pastures and this is the season achievable born lambs. The Great Rite is often en-acted on this daytime and it symbolizes the sexual union of the God plus Goddess. The ceremony involves an atheme (ceremonial silverware, which represents a phallic symbol) being inserted towards a chalice (the female symbol).
The word Beltane comes from the saying “Bale-Fire” and, even today, fires are lit all over England and Ireland. A Beltane Fire Festival as really been held every year since 1988 in Edinburgh and is visited by around 15, 000 people each year. In Wales, the bale-fires were required to be lit from one other and at the end of the evening it was tradition to take dwelling a smouldering piece of the Beltane bale-fire and use it that will light the first cook-fire of the summer. However , the section of bale-fire had to be taken, not asked for, as it was believed of which Faeries could not light their own fires and so would be present at the Beltane celebrations disguised as humans and request your smouldering piece of Beltane bale-fire. If given, the faerie would have control over the human.
Fear of faeries was rife at this time of year. It was customary for daisy strings to be placed around children’s head or necks to patrol them against the faeries. Bells were considered the best prevention of faeries and this tradition is still seen today with Morris Dancer’s bells.
Another tradition was the May Pole which had been another symbol of the male/female union. The pole delivers the male symbol and the ribbons represent the birth surco being woven around it by eight dancers (four couples) who represent the eight sabbats. Traditionally, the particular May Pole was the communal pine tree which have been completely decorated at Yule and then had it’s lower braches removed.
This is also the perfect time to celebrate with a bbq as the firey coals could be a modern twist on the Beltane bale-fire. Many other appropriate foods could be salads containing lots of young departs, eggs, honey, dairy products and oats. Goats and rabbits were sacred at Beltane, the goat representing the actual truly amazing Horned God and the rabbit representing the Goddess. Goats could be relied on to provide milk, cheese and spread and the rabbit is a prolific breeder – essential to typically the fertility celebration! Mead is the perfect accompaniment to Beltane foods as it is made from honey (a Beltane traditional food) and is thought to be an aphrodisiac.