May 1st – Blessed Beltane!
Beltane, or May Day if you wish, is celebrated on May 1st. Beltane is the last of the spring festivals and marks the beginning of the warmer months of planting and the growing season. It’s one of the festivals that I like to call the Big Four, the others being Mabon, Samhain, and Yule. Beltane is the festival when we honor life and this is the time when the Goddess now takes the God as her Consort. Revelers dance the May Pole and crown a May Queen. (I’ve done the May Pole dance several times, although it’s harder than it looks.) Many will build huge bonfires, or bale-fires, and it’s tradition to drive livestock between two bonfires to purify them and bring good luck. Household fires would be extinguished and then relit with the ceremonial bonfires. My own town has a May Day celebration with a pole, funnel cakes, and a small fair and petting zoo.
There is a very nice slideshow from MSN Glo that can be found here.
Blessed Be, everyone!