Beginning on moonrise April 30th, Beltane is a fun and frolicky sabbat marking the start of summer and the light half of the year. It is also steeped in fertility and reproductive rituals.
A bonfire is lit and the celebrants jump over or pass through the bonfire with livestock and pets for luck, prosperity and continued fertility of crops, family and livestock. Other practices include cooking feasts and dancing the maypole.
The celebration of Beltane and it's associated traditions pre-date christianity by millenia and is still celebrated today and is even growing in popularity in regions where it was once abandoned or outlawed. It seems more and more people are beginning to realize the significance and importance of these celebrations, traditions and practices.
While Beltane is known as a Celtic sabbat, there are many traditions around the same time, all over the world. The taking of the Beltane fire into the home to light the hearth, spreading milk and blood over crop fields, and asking the ancestors to come join in the warmth of the bonfire are just a few of the many traditions of Beltane still followed today. However people choose to celebrate, the main motives (fertility and abundance) are always kept in the forefront of the celebrants. i wish everyone a happy and abundant Beltane.
Author: Stephen Carpenter