Q: What is the sabbat that's main focus is fertility, love, life, sexuality, and passion?
A: What is Beltane (bell-tayne).
On this weeks blog we will be talking about *drumroll*... Beltane, you guessed it! This ancient holiday seems to be pretty underrated, one of the main foods for this holiday is bread (I mean seriously. How could it get any better?). Beltane is the fourth of eight sabbats and marks the halfway point between spring and summer.
The history behind Beltane
Beltane means fire of Bel; Belinos is the name of the sun god. Beltane's ancient traditions say that Beltane marks the emergence of the young Sun God into manhood. Stirred by the energies at work in nature, he desires a Goddess. They fall in love, lie among the grasses and blossoms, and unite. The Goddess becomes pregnant of the God. To celebrate, a wedding feast, for the God and Goddess must be prepared.
Ancient Celtic traditions for this holiday embrace sexuality and promiscuity; older married couples were allowed to take their rings off and younger couples could run through the woods "A-Maying" or could also participate in a tradition called hand fasting. Hand fasting is an unofficial marriage that lasts a year and a day, a trial run if you will, the couples would symbolically tie their hands together at the ceremony. A significant tradition for this holiday has always been bonfires and the maypole. The "A-Maying" couples would often dance around the maypole in the morning after their night in the woods, but in modern times the maypole is a celebration for everyone to enjoy.
Ways to celebrate
- Have a bonfire or just light a candle; the goal is to celebrate the sun god
- Find a maypole near you and join in on the celebration
- Have a feast (there will be recipes linked at the bottom)
- Collect water to wash your face with or even drink, this could be rain water, water from a stream, or morning dew
- Gather flowers and branches to decorate your home, give to others, make a flower crown, braid into your hair, or to make a flower garland
- Take a walk outside
- Brew your own mead
- starting simple with cereal
- Oatmeal cookies
- Dairy foods
- Honey cakes