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All About Beltane

Celebrating the Fertility of Spring

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Bonfire_1500.jpg

Beltane is known as a fire festival.

Image by Andy Ryan/Stone/Getty Images
All About Beltane

Beltane is a time to celebrate fertility.

Image © Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images
All About Beltane

The Maypole dance is an ancient custom that many people still use to celebrate Beltane.

Image © Matt Cardy/Getty Images

April's showers have given way to rich and fertile earth, and as the land greens, there are few celebrations as representative of fertility as Beltane. Observed on May 1st (or October 31 - November 1 for our Southern Hemisphere readers), festivities typically begin the evening before, on the last night of April. It's a time to welcome the abundance of the fertile earth, and a day that has a long (and sometimes scandalous) history. Depending on your tradition, there are a number of ways you can celebrate this Sabbat. First, you might want to read up on:

 

Rituals and Ceremonies

Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate Beltane, but the focus is nearly always on fertility. It's the time when the earth mother opens up to the fertility god, and their union brings about healthy livestock, strong crops, and new life all around.

Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying -- and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead.

 

Customs and Folklore

Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind the celebrations of May Day? Learn why the Romans had a big party, and who the popular fertility gods are.

 

Beltane Magic

Beltane is a season of fertility and fire, and we often find this reflected in the magic of the season. Let's look at some of that spring magic, from ritual sex to fertility magic, along with the magic found in gardens and nature.

 

Crafts and Creations

As Beltane approaches, you can decorate your home (and keep your kids entertained) with a number of easy craft projects. Start celebrating a bit early with fun floral crowns and a Maypole altar centerpiece.

 

Feasting and Food

No Pagan celebration is really complete without a meal to go along with it. For Beltane, celebrate with foods that honor fertility of the earth. Enjoy light spring soups, Scottish bannocks, fertility bread loaves, and more.

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