Everything You Need To Know About the Wiccan Holiday Beltane
Beltane means fire of Bel, who is considered a Celtic deity. The Wiccan holiday celebrates the arrival of summer. Beltane is a special fire festival celebrated for the coming of fertility in the land. Tied with the community’s needs just like other Celtic festivals, Beltane is a festival that marks spring and welcomes the farming season. Families and followers of the pagan religion come together in hopes of a fruitful year.
Some of the Beltane rituals include courting where the youth collect blossoms and light fires during the evening. The rituals lead to marriages to be conducted in the coming season or even immediately. As the holiday marks fertility, marriage is often encouraged. Fire plays an essential part in the festival as it is thought to increase fertility, purify, and cleanse. Cattles pass between two fires. The smoke from the fire is believed to ensure that fertility.
Beltane is the time when pagans believe that the God achieves maturity and strength to become the lover of the Goddess. Fertility plays an integral role in the holiday, and pagans strive to highlight fertility through different ceremonies and rituals. There are many traditions that associate fire with the celebration. It helps purify and revitalize. By leaping over the fire, it is believed that the fertility of the spirit, body, and mind, as well as happiness and good fortune, can be achieved. Beltane is considered to be the most sexual festival. However, pagans barely have sex during the rituals, even though most of the rituals imply fertility and sex. There is sexual imagery involved in the dancing tradition, and many pagans still follow it.
Beltane in Edinburgh
When it comes to Beltane and all the celebrations that come with it, Edinburgh is the main city in the UK where the festival is widely celebrated. There are fires that are lit during the night, and the festivities continue being carried out until the wake of dawn. Private celebrations are common in the UK where fires are lit up, and groups of pagans come together to mark the beginning of summer.
Another vital aspect of Beltane is hand-fasting as it symbolizes the betrothal of the God and the Goddess. Couples come together and decide to stay together in celebration of the holiday. However, it is up to the couple to choose the time of commitment. There are certain elements that are similar among different couples, such as the exchange of rings and vows. Hand-fasting involves the tying of the couple’s hands together, as the name suggests. The tie is unbinding later onward. A ribbon or red cord is used to conduct the hand-fasting. By typing the hands of the couple together, the coming of two people is symbolized in its most real sense. After the hands are untied, it represents the two people choosing to remain together as per their free will. Hence, fertility is highlighted in its best forms.