Happy Beltane

It’s time to celebrate another Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year.

Neopagans celebrate Beltane on April 30th into May 1st in the Northern Hemisphere and on October 31st into November 1st in the Southern Hemisphere. Traditionally, this Sabbat begins and ends at sunset.

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The season of Beltane has arrived. In many traditions, the holiday officially begins on the evening of April 30th and continues throughout the day into the following night. Called Walpurgis Night in parts of Europe, this is a time when bonfires were lit and witches gathered for fun and revelry.

For those who follow the Eight Sabbats in the pagan Wheel of the Year, this holiday is known as Beltane–the first of the fire festivals. 🔥

Wikipedia shares:

“Beltane (/ˈbɛl.teɪn/) is the Gaelic May Day festival. Traditionally this Sabbat is held on May 1st, or about midway between the spring equinox and summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. The festival name is synonymous with the month marking the start of summer in Gaelic Ireland. Beltane is one of the four main Gaelic seasonal festivals—along with SamhainImbolc, and Lughnasadh—and is similar to the Welsh Calan Mai.


Beltane’s significance lies in its name: Cétshamhain [first of summer], which marked the beginning of summer months. This was also when the cattle left their winter pastures and headed to the summer pastures.

Ritual fires were lit, (usually two) where the cattle were driven between the fires. These rituals were performed to cleanse and protect the cattle, people, and their future crops.

The pagans lit special bonfires, whose flames, smoke and ashes were thought to have protective powers. The people and their cattle would walk around or between bonfires and sometimes they would leap over the flames or embers. All household fires would be doused and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire for good luck.

These gatherings included a huge feast, and they would offer some of the food and drink to the aos sí. Everyone decorated their doors, windows, and livestock with yellow May flowers. I don’t know if the yellow color was more abundant, or because the color yellow evoked fire.

In parts of Ireland, people created a May Bush, which was a thorn bush or branch decorated with flowers, ribbons, and sometimes bright shells. This could be the basis for our May day celebrations where a pole was erected with brightly colored ribbons attached. People danced around the maypole to celebrate the return of summer. Many of these customs were part of May Day or Midsummer festivals in parts of Great Britain and Europe.

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Spells8 explains Beltane from a Pagan’s perspective:

Beltane is a celebration of renewal and resurrection. It announces a change of pace since it is the opening of the cycle of daytime activities: the hunt is restarted, the conquests and the wars begin again, and it is back to work for farmers and shepherds.

Beltane, like Samhain, is also a time of the year where the “other world” is particularly close and within reach. And as in Samhain, ritual sacrifices of animals to the gods were also offered in Beltane.

This sabbat is conducive to all rites of passage between the cold and warm periods, between darkness and light, between physical and symbolic death and spiritual rebirth. In general, it is the festivity of the change of pace of life, from the winter to the summer. The celebration symbolizes this physical and spiritual passage.


Angela, from Let’s Write also shares her experiences from the UK on Happy May Day 🌸🌼🌸

To celebrate Beltane, I baked a red velvet cake to signify the first bonfire of the season. (My cake was not this fancy). 😋

On my altar, I lit two candles and burned incense to cleanse my space.

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How To Celebrate Beltane

I began by creating a magical circle by greeting the 4 elements and the 4 cardinal points. I lit two orange candles for creativity. I purified myself and meditated on fertility and new life. I thought about what I wanted to fertilize as a celebration of the summer season. Then I wrote my poem/prayer.

Beltane fires burning
the womb of the earth is fertile
the energy within opens wide
feel the earth goddess' fertility
feel it in the air
feel it in the water
feel it on your skin and 
feel it in your blood.
This energy rules our life and soul—
my projects bloom like flowers
my soul opens to new possibilities
my body and my spirit welcome new life purpose
Blessed be,
Blessed WE.

©Colleen M. Chesebro

I wish you a Blessed Beltane! 🙏🏻

Published by Colleen M. Chesebro

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft Poetry.com by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry. Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch. In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books. Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

31 thoughts on “Happy Beltane

  1. Happy Beltane, Colleen 🙂 Loved your poem and the cake to represent the flame. Loved the included histiry too. Xo


    1. We did the May Pole in school. I wonder if the teachers realized the pagan connections. My grandmother and I made paper baskets and filled them with flowers. I hung them on the neighbors doors when I was young. It was really a fun celebration.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This side of the pond – damp and chilly this morning. This afternoon bright and sunny. Great for walking and going on a photoshoot and gardening. Opted for the walk and photoshoot. Stay Smiling.


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