Bealtaine is an Irish word meaning the month of May.

It celebrated on May 1st, at the end of the darkest half of the year and welcomes the lighter half of the year, ushering in the beginning of the harvest season.

It is celebrated by Celts – in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.

The wheel of the Celtic Year connects with Fire.

In Ireland it is traditional to have Bonfires – which are connected with all the Celtic and pagan festivals.

Bealtaine is one of the four main Celtic pagan Festivals.

Bonfires celebrate Bealtaine in May to mark the start of Summer.

Imbolc in February to mark the start of Spring – St. Brigid’s day.

Bealtaine in May to mark the start of summer.

Lughnasa (August, Harvest) to mark the harvest and Samhain (Halloween) to mark the start of the darkest part of the year .

Hawthorn & Rowan sprigs (sacred trees), were placed around structures, doorways, windows or animals for protection and health.

Yellow blossoms – the colour of the Sun and fire were also used. Bealtaine welcomed the light and heat of the Summer.

Animals were let out to pastures.

The veil is thin at this time of year (the link between our mortal world & the immortal underworld) and there were many rituals to appease the faeries (fairies) or Sidhs.

The rituals would involve healing knowledge and protection for the coming year.

Offerings were made to appease the faeries and fires were lit for cleansing, protection and involved many rituals.

Even though a lot of these traditions have died out over the years, there are now many Celtic pagan festivals being revived with fire celebrations still taking place.

Bealtaine is associated with the Hill of Uisneach, in Co. Westmeath where celebrations continue.

Uisneach is near the centre of Ireland, home to the sacred tree and a site associated with the Druids.

What does this time of year mean to you?

As the days warm and Summer comes towards its’ height,

What are you allowing to warm, to take hold, to nourish?

What are you cultivating?

What light are you letting in to your life?

What are you encouraging to grow in all aspects of your life?

What are you cultivating and growing within your self?

Physically, mentally, emotional and spiritually?

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