The Ancient Celtic Festival of Beltane

by Erin on May 8, 2012

Today, it seemed appropriate to include some relatively timely information about one of the four major Celtic festivals. May 1st is the traditional day on which Beltane (or Beltaine) is celebrated. Beltane takes its name from Bel or Bile, who was a god of both life and death in Celtic mythology. The ancient Romans, in particular, also associated Bel with the sun. So it seems appropriate that the festival of Beltane represents the renewal of fire.

Traditionally, during this festival the fires in homes were extinguished. Then the druids would go around and relight these hearth fires. The general idea behind this activity is that it symbolically represented the life giving sun returning to nourish the Earth after the barren Winter months. Obviously, the ancient Celts were acutely aware of the importance of the seasons to every aspect of their existence.

So there you have it - my brief summary of Beltane. The celebration of the return of the fires of Bel.

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