May 1, 2012 [Beltane]
Belatian, also spelled Beltine, Iris Beltaine or Beltaine and Cetamainalso is one of the 8 sacred Sabbats of the Pagans. This festival is held on the first day of May in Ireland and Scotland. Beltane was first mentioned in a glossary to Cormac, bishop of Cashel and King of Munstern, who was killed in 908. Cormac describes how cattle were driven between two bonfires on Beltaine as a magical means of protecting them from disease before they were led into summer pastures. This custom is still observed in Ireland.
Beltane was started to celebrate and Bless the seeds and make happy that winter is over and spring is here. Beltain celebrations and rituals are a fact and still celebrated by Pagans and Wiccans to this very day. The other side of the Beltane is celebrated by Christianity as Maypole day with dancing around the pole. Beltain is a fire ritual/celebration and is celebrated around a bonfire. Dancing and singing go all night long and in the morning, flowers were gathered to make wreaths for the hair.
Beltane is the last of the 3 celebration Sabbaths celebrated by the Ancients and it heralded the beginning of summer. Food supplies were low, people were depressed from the drab cold days of winter and this made Beltane celebration very special. Facts and myths blend together during these celebrations.
May was not an ideal time for the ancients for marriage, thus the year and a day was begun for hand fasting couples. This was considered a trial time for couples, living together before making the marriage legal. So it seems to me the Ancients knew living together and knowing one another before actually marrying made more sense than marring then divorce.
Water was another important aspect of the Beltane celebration. Myths surround the usage of water at this time also. It is said that if you bathe in the dew gathered before dawn on Beltane, your beauty will flourish all year. Those sprinkled with May dew are insured if health and happiness. Other customs such as drinking from a well before sunrise will insure good heath and fortune.
The main color of Beltane is green representing growth, abundance, plentiful harvest, fertility and luck. The use of other colors in Beltane celebrations as well as the whole month of may are used, whites, yellows, pinks, reds, violets and purples representing cleansings, purity, good fortune, fertility, happiness and wealth. So no matter how you choose to celebrate Beltane, rather it be a ritual, dancing around the fire or Maypole, singing and eating natures produce, its a time for happiness and joy to be alive and one with the Goddess. Blessed BeÂ…Â…