Beltane Festival

Beltane Festival meaning

Uncover hidden spiritual meanings

This is a fire festival that is popular in the world.

It is at times referred to by other different names which include Beltaine, May Day, Beltain, Galan Mai, Shenn de Boaldyn, Beal-tine, Beltine, Roodmas, Tana’s Day, La Baal Tinne, Samhradh. It is the opposite of Samhain on the traditional, wheel of the year of the Celtic and just like the Samhain, the veil between the worlds is very thin on that night. The night of the Beltane festival is filled with beauty and magic. Others believe that the spirits of those who will be born the following year, come visiting during this particular night.

According to some traditions, this is the night when God expresses his love for the goddess and they consummate their union in a sacred marriage, which then results in the divine child being conceived that will take the place of the god the coming year.

The god dies in order for the people of the earth to have plenty to eat and in his place, the divine child takes over. It is bad manners for anyone to upstage the goddess and the god with a mortal wedding, but if one wants to announce a betrothal during this period of the year, it is acceptable.

Other traditions celebrate the god and goddess of love with their consort and at the same time, they are invoked. It is a night that is considered to be a night of passion where many couples wander off alone or make a little magic of their own. If a child is conceived on this particular night, they are considered to be gifted by the gods and are normally referred to as merry-be- gots.

During the Beltaine, there is normally the Maypole dance which goes hand in hand with the festival with the ribbons presenting the female and the pole presenting the male. It is at this time that the May baskets are exchanged which is the opposite of how gifts are given during the Samhain. Instead of the door-to-door visit, May baskets are hung with goodies on the doorknobs of friends and neighbors.

It is one of the five festivals of the Wiccan calendar and in ancient times, it was a time of sacrifice which included human sacrifice. In modern times, the witches leap over fire, there have been reports of human sacrifice in the fire - which is not good. It is similar to the custom of passing livestock through two bonfires for fertility and blessings.

What to wear at the Beltane Festival?

What do women wear at the Beltane Festival? There are so many things that you can wear, if you think about the festival itself it is related to growth and green is normally worn. Dresses or mother earth costumes. There is a traditional maypole dance and many people wear a kaftan style of outfit at the festival, as this is loose and comfortable. Many people in modern times do not dress for the event and normally wear their normal clothes. Some people have worn fairy-type dresses due to dancing around the maypole. It would be good to wear some flowers in your hair in order to express your love of nature or make your own headpiece.  For men the men normally wear either black or green. As I said before normal clothes are now apparent in more modern times. 

The Requirements for Celebrating the Beltane Festival

  • For food, one might require strawberry, dairy, salad greens, oatcakes, May wine and cherry.
  • Incense would include lilac, frankincense, jasmine, rose, tuberose, musk and ylang.
  • Symbols include wreaths of flowers, cauldron, Maypole, phallic symbols, strings of beads and ribbons.
  • Herbs include St John’s Wort, all flowers, honeysuckle, lilac, hawthorn and phlox.
  • Colors include yellow, green, blue and pink.
  • Stones include garnet, rose quartz and beryl.

The Wiccans value this festival and they devote their time to celebrate it to the fullest.

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By Florance Saul
Feb 10, 2017