Posts Tagged ‘Eve Bruce’
We are at the half way point
on the wheel
Having come through the
dark cold times
we welcome the
calling in the light
big bright bonfire.
Tradition historically also varies widely throughout Gaul.
Traditional activities include leaping over the fire and leading livestock through twin fires to purify and protect, ensuring good health and fertility in the year to come. Many communities would extinguish the home hearth, relighting from the communal Bealtaine fire for the coming year.
Handfasting was also common at this time, when couple would commit to each other in marriage.
Cultural revivals often place Bealtaine, as it is known in Ireland, on May 1st, and so of course the festival begins on May-Eve or April 30th. The astronomical quarter point marking mid-way between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is May 5th in 2013.
Historical customs include decorating the “May Bush” of Hawthorn or Rowan, and so it would make sense that this would fall when the Hawthorn blooms. Because of the change from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar in the 1500s, what used to be May 1st would now fall around May 11th.
Whenever you call in the summer light, Bealtaine (like Samhuin) is thought to be a time when the veil is thinnest, when the Sidhe are on the move. Capture the morning dew, or the spring water if you are lucky enough to live by a spring, on Bealtaine morning. This may be used throughout the year in ceremony and healing.
(Dingle is host to the annual Féile na Bealtaine)