The beautiful May Day festival of Beltane is upon us and we’re here to spread some insight and ways you can spend this magical day. Our Welsh Witch herself, founder Jade, is a Beltane baby herself so knows all about the Celtic and pagan traditions and rituals. The festivities are a time of inviting in warmth, fertility and anchoring in hope for the future ahead.

 

What is Beltane?

 

Traditionally, Beltane has been celebrated by Celtics and pagans as a mid-point between the spring and summer solstices for hundreds of years and puts emphasis on the honouring of nature and changing seasons. As an homage to Mother Earth, Beltane is most notably celebrated with fire rituals, bonfires and light. This is traditionally in dedication to the gods to beckon warmer weather and plentiful harvests in the summer months.

 

Welsh Celebrations of Calan Mai

 

Also celebrated on the same day is Calan Mai, the Welsh celebration of May Day. This celebration is known for welcoming the beginning of summer and is very much part of our heritage here in Wales. Together they can be enjoyed hand in hand on the first day of May, as many of the traditions of Calan Mai and Beltane overlap and share similar themes. Singing, dancing and feasting are traditional ways of celebrating the May Day, with maypoles and bonfires aplenty. The Welsh tradition is also known as Calan Haf or Cyntefin and is known in Welsh as the first day of summer. It’s a sign sunshine is on the way!

 

How to Celebrate Beltane

There are many different ways in which you can celebrate, and of course, it is important to engage in rituals that feel authentic to you. Use your intuition and take what resonates if you’re looking for some inspiration this Beltane.

beltane fire

How will you choose to celebrate Beltane this year?

Get Festive with Florals

With flowers and botanicals abundant at this time of year, many blooming due to the coming of spring, what better way to celebrate than harnessing their magic? Many pagans and celebrators of May Day utilise these flowers by creating wreaths, harvesting flowers to dry or press, decorating an altar with their blooms (picked responsibly of course!). Brew some floral tea, bake some recipes that utilise seasonal flowers, get creative and find a way to honour the seasonal produce! This is a way that interweaves mother nature with our every day and connects us deeply to our environment.

 

Get Together with Friends and Loved Ones

 Times such as Beltane have always traditionally been a time of coming together, honouring nature and one another and celebrating in unity. Finding a community of likeminded individuals, whether that is online through social media, or through local events, is an exciting way to feel a part of something bigger. Organise a women’s or community circle event, get together with your closest friends for an evening of food, drinks, gratitude and crafts, or plan a meal with loved ones. This feeling of togetherness is a long-standing pagan tradition and it’s a perfect way to welcome in a new sabbat of the Wheel of the Year. Talk about what you’re looking forward to this year, what you’re grateful for, or discuss your worries and anxieties with people you feel safe with.

 

Eat and Drink Your Way Through Beltane

Of course, many of us are very passionate about good food and drink. What better way to celebrate than with delicious dishes and botanical beverages?! Of course, we’re a little biased here at Welsh Witch HQ, but we’re allowed to be, when founder Jade has worked hard to create the Beltane Edition Welsh Witch Gin, perfect for this day and any other! Packed with natural botanicals and a fiery kick of cinnamon to honour the Beltane fire rituals, our Beltane Gin is a perfect excuse to get together with your besties and share a tipple on May Day (plus, it’s a bank holiday – there’s no reason not to!)

beltane_gin

Our magical Beltane Gin, brewed with love in North Wales

Practice a Fire Ritual

So many fire ceremonies and rituals are associated with Beltane; why not give your own a go? Join up with friends and light a bonfire; talk about your intentions and maybe release any negative feelings by writing them on paper and burning them in the fire. You could also write down your goals for the rest of the year and burn those too, as a physical act of manifestation and writing your intentions to the universe. For something more low key, get relaxed and cosy, light a candle (our Gin & Tonic Candle is a great shout!) and reflect on what you’d like this year to bring.

beltane_candle

Our Welsh Witch with a lovely candle ready for Beltane celebrations

 

However you practice Beltane, we hope you have a marvellous May Day. Maybe try a new tradition with friends or loved ones, or enjoy a relaxing evening in with food and good times. Use your intuition and celebrate in a way that feels authentic for you. We’re wishing you all the Beltane blessings from Welsh Witch HQ and sending love and light from North Wales.