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Beltane- A May Day Festival


Beltane is one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It is typically celebrated on May 1st and is roughly mid-way between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. Rituals were often held during this time to protect people and crops from harm from both the natural and super natural. Often large bon fires were lit during these festivals and rituals.

Beltane symbolizes growth and birth. Growth of healthy crops and the birth of healthy livestock were very important. Celebrations were had invoking the power of the Sun. One of the oldest traditions was to light large bonfires. They would run their cattle between these large fires. It was thought that smoke and ash of these fires were sacred and healing and would rid the cattle of any diseases acquired over the winter months.

What are some things to do during Beltane? We can walk our yard, whether big or small and give thanks for the abundance of life that grows. We can make flower crowns to wear on our heads or bracelets to share.

So how can be celebrate Beltane at home? We can light a bonfire to share with friends and


family. We can dance and share a special meal or decorate our trees with ribbons of white, green and red.

Other ways to celebrate: We can bake traditional Beltane foods like Oatcakes (yup, I sure did... I included a recipe below). We can walk in nature and search for wild flowers and fairy glens. We can dress in dark green and meditate on life, fertility and love.

Other quick tidbits for Beltane:






Colors: Dark Green, Red and White

Foods: Honey, Oats, Mead

Stones: Blood Stone, Carnelian, Rose Quartz, Sapphire

Flowers and plants: Lilac, Hawthorn, Birch, Ivy, Violet, Birch, Oak

Herbs: Clover, Lavendar

Deities: Aphrodite, Freya, Pan, Artemis, Hera


Folklore: In early Pagan beliefs it was said that Beltane is a time were the vail


between the fairy realm and our own is thin. Some traditions show that on Beltane Eve all the fires were put out but one special fire that stayed lite throughout Beltane Eve. Farmers would hang green around their doors in hopes for the cattle to product plenty of milk. This is truly a magical time of year, celebrating new life, love, growth and the fairy realm.



Oat Cakes

Ingredients

11/2 C Flour

1/2tsp baking soda

½ tsp Cinnamon

½ tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/2c Brown Sugar

Pinch of salt

3/4C Frozen butter grated

11/2C traditional rolled oats

½ C evaporated milk



Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F

Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together

Add sugar and combine

Add grated butter until combine and then add oats and combine

Add mild until a soft dough form.

Roll dough on to a floured surface until ½ inch thick. Cut into biscuits.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 18-20mins



Honey and Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients

1 cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 6) save lemons after juicing

¼ cup Local Honey

1 heaping Tbsp Dried Lavender Flowers

3 cups Water


Directions

Juice enough lemons for 1 cup of lemon juice and set aside

In a saucepan add the juiced lemons and water and bring to a boil.

Turn off the heat and add lavender and honey, stir and steep covered for 20 mins

Strain lemon and lavender water into a pitcher and add the reserved lemon juice.

Stir and serve over ice.

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