Happy Beltane!

A Scottish friend on Facebook wished her friends “Happy Beltane” today. Being clueless, we immediately hit Wikipedia for enlightenment. To wit:

Beltane is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literatureIt marked the beginning of summer and was when cattle were driven out to the summer pastures…Special bonfires were kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective powers. The people and their cattle would walk around the bonfire, or between two bonfires, and sometimes leap over flames or embers. All household fires would be doused and then re-lit from the Beltane bonfire. Doors, windows, byres and the cattle themselves would be decorated with yellow May flowers…Many of these customs were part of May Day or Midsummer festivals in other parts of Great Britain and Europe.

Today, Beltane has largely fallen out of favor, except among those who cleave to Wiccan or Pagen traditions. But, as Davis has a healthy component of folks who celebrate alternative traditions, we thought it was worth a mention.

So if you notice your Tandem neighbors decorating with yellow flowers or dancing around the BBQ pit tonight, don’t forget to wish them “Happy Beltane.”


Image credit: thecoexistcafe.com