Beltane is an ancient Celtic Holiday, often referred to in modern times as May Day. The Holiday begins at moonrise April 30th (May Day Eve) and is considered to be a festival of fertility and union between the God and Goddess. It marks the beginning of Summer. The God, having matured, begins his love affair with the Goddess.
Much of the celebration was centered around Fire rituals and fertility rites. Cattle, precious to the Celts, were driven between Belfires to cleanse and protect them before they were turned out to pasture for the Summer months. Humans, honoring the union of God and Goddess, jumped the Belfires in celebration.
Having explored briefly the history of Beltane, the natural question to ask is, “How can I celebrate Beltane in modern times?”
For those who work within a Coven or Study Group, there are many options. Feasting, playing games, and lighting a Belfire are just a few suggestions. The internet has a vast amount of information on folklore and ideas for celebrating the Sabbat. Some Covens and Groups, such as the one I am a member of, choose to attend a Beltane Festival.This affords us the opportunity to celebrate with fellow Covens, Groups and individuals we know and love, but may not see on a regular basis. Whether you are a member of a group or a solitary practitioner, festivals are a wonderful way to celebrate Beltane. I encourage you to find one in your area. (And there are all sorts of Pagan festivals throughout North America this Spring/Summer, click here to find out more.)
If you are a solitary practitioner who chooses to celebrate in a solitary manner there are many options for doing so. Cooking a special meal, holding solitary ritual, even taking a mindful walk or hike are wonderful ways to celebrate.
I encourage everyone to celebrate the Sabbat of Beltane this year. As for myself, I will be attending Blue Ridge Beltane this year, teaching a workshop and celebrating with loved ones. A Merry Beltane to everyone and Blessings!!