Beltane is one of the eight Pagan sabbats that bring opportunities to make a better connection with God and have a better life.
But what are the rituals for Beltane, and how do you celebrate this day?
I try to celebrate this day every year, and today I will tell you everything about Beltane and the different ways to celebrate the festival.
What does Beltane mean?
The Celtic word “Beltane” means the fire of Bel (Bel was a Celtic deity). So it’s a fire festival and the Pagan holiday.
The day of Beltane falls halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice or 1st May. It welcomes the start of summer in Ireland.
What is another name for Beltane?
Beltane or Beltaine has several names in various languages and cultures. It is often called Cétshamhain or “the first of summer.”
However, as it starts on 1st May, the Irish call it the Lá Bealtaine or “Mayday.” Besides, the Scottish address the day as Latha Bealltainn.
What is the Beltane festival?
Europeans celebrate May Day to welcome the summer, and the Beltane is a Gaelic May Day festival.
Beltane is one of the four quarter festivals along with Samhain, Imbolc, and Lugnashaadh.
Historically Gaels (a specific group of people from Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man, with similar ethnicity and language) were used to celebrate the day. But today, people from all over Ireland and Scotland celebrate the Beltane with Manx and modern Pagan people.
An essential question is why people celebrate this day. Keep scrolling to find out.
Why do we celebrate Beltane?
The primary motive for celebrating Beltane is to welcome the summer. It is called the “return of the light” after the spring.
Pagan fertility is deeply associated with this festival. The pagan people believe that celebrating the day of Beltane will purify them and make them more fertile.
Plus, the pagans today also believe that God reaches whole strength and maturity during Beltaine to become the lover of the Goddess.
It’s a sacred union between the Celtic God and Goddess. The joyous occasion brings the divine masculine and feminine energy together.
Who is Beltane’s Goddess?
Belenus is considered the God of Beltane in Pagan Celtic mythology. He is the Celtic God of healing and is associated with Pastoralism.
There is no specific mention of Beltane’s Goddess. However, I have found some comments on the association of fertility Goddess Eostre or Ostara with the festival of Beltane.
Hekate, the Goddess of magic, witchcraft, moon, ghosts, spells, and necromancy, is also associated with the Beltane festival.
How did the Celts celebrate Beltane?
The Celts and other people joyfully celebrate the Beltane. Some people start celebrating the day from the evening before and call it the “eve of Beltane.”
There are lots of traditions and activities that people follow to celebrate this festival. Let’s have a look at the most popular Beltane traditions and celebrations:
Beltane’s traditions are widely followed among the people who celebrate the day. Let’s have a look at the top 3 Beltane traditions:
- Handfasting: As Beltane is associated with the love between God and the Goddess, a common tradition for the day is handfasting or getting married. Couples exchange rings or takes vows of love for the rest of their life.
- Going to A Maying: Whether married or not, young or old, everyone can go to a Maying or spend the night in the forest. Couples go to the woods, make bonfires, and celebrate their love and the Beltane the whole night.
- Maypole: Girls and women dancing around the Maypole are pretty popular on the day of Beltane. A pole is placed in a field attached to the ribbons. Everyone holds a ribbon and dances around it in a particular pattern for fertility.
Fire is closely associated with the Beltane as the name refers to the fire festival. Therefore, making bonfires at least once on this day is a must for celebration.
A common ritual is to make two large bonfires and walk the cattle between them. Sometimes only a bonfire is made, and the cattle counterclockwise around the bonfire.
How do I celebrate Beltane?
Above are some of the traditional ways to celebrate the Beltane. But it may not always be possible for me to follow them for me.
Does that mean I will not celebrate the day? Of course not! I have my ways to celebrate Beltane, and you can follow them too.
Let’s talk about how I celebrate Beltane:
Here are my favorite Beltane rituals to celebrate:
Beltane rituals for couples
Beltane is a perfect occasion for couples to make promises to love forever. You can sit with your partner during the Beltane and redefine
your love for each other.
Also, try to go out with my partner on Beltane if we have time. It’s like going on maying for Beltane.
Beltane candle ritual
Lighting candles is the best way to honor the fire festival in the Beltane. So I try to get colored candles and light them up around my house.
Light up the candles, cherish the Goddess inside you, and make a wish for your future. Yes, Beltane can also be a great occasion to make good wishes.
Beltane fire ritual
Nowadays, it’s tough to find a place where you are allowed to make large bonfires. So making a fire in the cauldron in your backyard can be a good idea.
You also can get a cauldron and build a fire in it. Then, if you don’t have a yard, you can hang it around the door to purify your house on Beltane.
What do you drink with Beltane?
Mead is the most popular drink with Beltane. Ancient Greeks used to call mead the “nectar of Gods.”
Mead is a honey wine you can find at the grocery store.
Preparing some food items with sacred Beltane herbs is also one of my favorite ways to celebrate the Beltane.
Some Beltane herbs include lemon balm, mint, coltsfoot, and rosemary. You also can plant some herbs in Beltane.
Depending on your space, you can show your creativity and make a unique Beltane altar. Add different items that signify the Beltane.
Antlers, acorns, and sticks refer to the fertile power of God, who is at his full potential on this day. Plus, add something like a cauldron, cup, or other feminine items to symbolize Goddess’ womb.
Don’t forget to build a fire around the altar with candles or cauldrons. May baskets, chalices, honey, oat milk, cherries, and a maypole at the center are some of the other items for the Beltane altar.
I love to wear a floral crown while celebrating Beltane. Some of my favorite Beltane flowers are Hawthorne, lilacs, daisies, marigolds, bluebells, and roses.
Are you not sure about what wishes to make on Beltane? The truth is you can make any positive wishes on this sacred occasion.
You can ask for fertility or romance in your love life. Besides, you also can ask God for wealth and longevity.
In short, you can wish anything on Beltane with a positive motive.
Giving greeting cards on Beltane is a popular way to greet others on this occasion. You can buy Beltane greeting cards and give them to your loved ones.
Performing rituals for Beltane is a fantastic way to improve your love life and make plans for your future. So let the Beltane fire lit up your life with joy.
These articles below can also interest you:
What are Beltane Rituals and Symbols?
Rituals for Yule: Yule Bath Ritual and Yule Log
Summer Solstice Rituals and Symbols in Spain
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Rituals Board!