Beltane

Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Beltane.  It is one of eight solar Sabbats.  This holiday incorporates traditions from the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, but it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as May pole dancing).  Some traditions celebrate this holiday on May 1 or May day, whiles others begin their celebration the eve before or April 30th.
Beltane has long been celebrated with feasts and rituals. The name means fire of Bel; Belinos being one name for the Sun God, whose coronation feast we now celebrate. As summer begins, weather becomes warmer, and the plant world blossoms, an exuberant mood prevails. In old Celtic traditions it was a time of unabashed sexuality and promiscuity where marriages of a year and a day could be undertaken but it is rarely observed in that manner in modern times. 
Belinos is above all the God of light, a source of comfort in the darkness and hope in despair. Once worshiped across all of Gaul as both himself and as his female guise, Belisama, he granted prophecy to oracles, tended the sacred healing wells, and taught the arts to his people, who viewed him as the most beloved of their gods. The Celtic festival of Beltane, which endured for centuries after his departure and is still practiced in small pockets today, was dedicated to him, a time of purification through light and renewal through procreation.
In the old Celtic times, young people would spend the entire night in the woods "A-Maying," and then dance around the phallic Maypole the next morning. Older married couples were allowed to remove their wedding rings (and the restrictions they imply) for this one night. May morning is a magickal time for wild water (dew, flowing streams, and springs) which is collected and used to bathe in for beauty, or to drink for health.
From this it is likely that Beli was a fire deity, a patron of flame and the sun's restorative powers (which explains his classical association with Apollo). Originally he may have been a pastoral deity and in Cymric myth is associated with cattle, sheep and corps. Though this explain may be why Beltane was the time that herds were moved to the high pasturesHis symbols were the horse (as shown, for example, by the clay horse figurine offerings at Belenos' Sainte-Sabine shrine in Burgundy), and also the Wheel (as illustrated on the famous Gundestrup Cauldron).



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