BELTAINE - MAY 1ST
A festival to celebrate Bel, the Celtic god of the Sun. May Day is an annual festival to welcome the beginning of Summer and the light half of the year. The Celts would dance around a living tree to celebrate it's fruitfulness. Hence the modern May-pole. Bonfires were lit to praise Bel for victory over darkness and to ward off evil and illness. Again, all household fires were extinguished and then re-lit from the sacred fires of Bel, lit by the Druids. This was also a festival to celebrate fertility and young couples would disappear into the woods to spend the night together in celebration. It was openly sexual in nature. It is for this reason that the Christian Church did not incorporate this festival into their religion.