Beltane is the Celtic pagan holiday that falls on May 1 and honors the coming of summer. Beltane (pronounced Bel-tain) means “bright fire” and refers to the god Belenus, who protected herds of cattle and offered healing and light to the ancient Celts.
For some pagans, it’s also the time of year when the God and Goddess are equal in power and when the masculine and feminine energies are united. The holiday celebrates their union through traditions such as fertility rites, fire festivals, handfasting, flower gathering, and dancing around the maypole. Here are some ways to celebrate.
Enjoy movement, the outdoors, and maybe even some singing. Maypoles can be elaborately decorated with flowers or fairly simple with just a tall pole and some ribbons.
Use daisies, carnations, or other hearty blooms and greens to celebrate the full bloom of summer. Ribbons or lace can add to the festive feeling of the crown.
If you’re up for traveling next year, the traditional Beltane Fire Festival at Calton Hill in Scotland recreates an ancient ritual for modern times.
These Scottish traditional cakes are similar to a scone, but were baked in a fire. Enjoy with some honey and toss the knobs over your shoulder or share with a friend or lover for good luck