Beltane has long been celebrated with feasts and joyous rituals the world over. The name beltane means Fire of Bel Belinos being one of the many names for the Sun God, whose coronanation feast we celebrate on Beltane. As Summer beings, the weather warms, and the plant world blossoms in an abundance of color an exuberant mood of joy prevails. In the older celtic traditions it was a time of unabased sexuality where marriages of a year and a day could be undertaken or broken but this rite is rarely seen or observed in these modern ages.
Young people would spend the entire night in the woods and fiels a-maying and then dance about the maypole the next morn. Older married couples were allowed remove thier wedding rings and the restrictions those rings implied for this one night. May morning is a magical time in which wild water was collected and used to bathe in for beauty or to drink for continued health.
The maypole itself was the focal point of the rituals in old english villages, many people woud rise at the first light of dawn to go outdoors and gather flowers and fresh tree branches in order to decorate thier homes. Traditionally women would braid wildflowers in thier hair, men and women would also decorate thier nude bodies with symbols and marks of beltane as it marked the return of vitality and of passion.
Pagan traditions states that beltane marks the emergence of the young god into manhood, stirred by the energies at work in nature he begins to desire the goddess. They fall in love and lie amongst the flowers and grasses in the fields uniting as one. In a celebration of fertility and love the goddess becomes pregnant by thier joining.
There are many activities to celebrate this joyous occasion and the fertility of the earth and all that lives and grows upon it.
Mother's, daughter's and all women can braid their hair with flowers, tending a garden or harvesting the first wild herbs of the season, taking a walk in the woods relaxing and basking in the wonderments of nature, Go a-maying in the fields picking wildflowers (be sure to take a picnic with you and enjoy the sunshine), Gather up some plants and flowers to display in your home, Commune with the fairies (be sure to leave them a gift), Create and put up a maypole in your back yard (invite all your friends and family to come dance around it)
And for the Lovers young and old alike find a quite private place in the woods, make love to your chosen one and be united as one in honor of the Lady and her Lord on this most blessed day.