It's Beltane!

Morris sides dancing

Morris sides dancing in the May at the 1999 May Day
"dancing in the dawn" celebration in Cambridge, MA.
Photo by Mimi Rhys, edited lightly by yours truly.

Beltane, Beltaine, May Day... No matter how you spell it, it's still one of my favorite Holidays. In the ancient Celtic world, Beltaine marked the beginning of Summer, just as its opposite number in the Celtic calendar, Samhain, is the beginning of Winter. Both holidays are times of transition, when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead (or unborn) are thin. While we remember and honor our ancestors on Samhain, we honor and encourage the burgeoning forces of fertility on Beltane so the people will be blessed with bountiful fields and their herds and families will increase.

Today's Pagans are likely to celebrate this day with music and song, dancing around a May Pole, perhaps crowning a May Queen and King, leaping over small fires or processing between two flames, and otherwise making merry, or perhaps making love in honor of the Gods and the forces of life—a time-honored tradition for many.

Here are some of my favorite seasonal songs...

plus these traditional (and traditional-sounding) folk songs, each of which has been recorded numerous times over the years...

and there are many more. Just keep your ears open for jaunty songs about Springtime, especially bawdy ones!

If you need any more inspiration for your own Beltane celebrations, consider these suggestions from Dian Sousa (a heathengirl special feature, brought to you courtesy of the author and Gretchen Giles at Free Will Astrology).

Here are some Beltane links you might enjoy:

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