Beltane begins tonight, 30th April at sunset and lasts until the same time tomorrow, 1st May.
The word ‘Beltane’ comes from the Celtic God Bel (the bright one) and ‘tiene’ (fire). Traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the sun and welcome the coming of spring.
It is a time of fertility, not just for living beings, but also for the crops and this is why it is such an important point of the Wheel of the Year.
There are so many traditions handed down in folk lore, many of them centred around courting.
The May Queen and the May King (who is the young oak king or green man) symbolise the union of earth and sky. In many areas Maypole dancing and Morris dancers welcome May Day.