Beltane (May Day)

Beltane (May Day)

Beltane (May Day) Celebrated May 1st 

Beltane, also spelled Beltine, Irish Beltaine or Belltaine, also known as Cétamain, festival held on the first day of May in Ireland and Scotland, celebrating the beginning of summer and open pasturing. Beltane is first mentioned in a glossary attributed to Cormac, bishop of Cashel and king of Munster, who was killed in 908. Cormac describes how cattle were driven between two bonfires on Beltane as a magical means of protecting them from disease before they were led into summer pastures- a custom still observed in Ireland in the 19th century. Other festivities included Maypole dances and cutting of green boughs and flowers.

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