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Beltane is a Celtic celebration that honours Life. It represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active.
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Beltane is a Fire Festival. The word 'Beltane' originates from the Celtic God 'Bel', meaning 'the bright one' and the Gaelic word 'teine' meaning fire. Together they make 'Bright Fire' or 'Goodly Fire' and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun and encourage the support of Bel and the Sun's light to nurture the emerging future harvest and protect the community.
The Maypole is a popular and familiar image of May Day and Beltane. A pole, often made from birch, was inserted into the Earth representing the potency of the God. The ring of flowers at the top of the Maypole represents the fertile Goddess. Its many coloured ribbons and the ensuing weaving dance symbolise the spiral of Life and the union of the Goddess and God, the union between Earth and Sky.
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One of the main colours of Beltane is red. Red represents strength, vitality, passion and vibrancy.