Beltane is a time to celebrate love, fertility, and connection.
Whereas Ostara marks the beginning of spring, celebrating making it through the winter and the return of life, Beltane signifies the heart and soul of the spring season. During this time, the trees are lush with green leaves and the daily cycle has shifted to longer and warmer days. We see life buzzing all around us, people are spending more time outside and in their gardens, and plants we haven't seen in a year make their way back into our lives. Beltane is a reminder that life has in fact begun again!
Beltane is a traditional Gaelic holiday that is celebrated from sunset on April 31st throughout the day on May 1st. Modern calendars will often refer to this holiday as “May Day”. It marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. The significance of celebrating Beltane is to honor the various Earth gods and goddesses. Throughout this time, the Earth has fully awakened from its winter slumber and with its fertile soil, is ready to give. The word Beltane comes from a Gaelic word meaning “bright fire” and is considered a “fire festival”. It was thought that performing fire rituals protected cattle, crops, and people while encouraging growth. During these festivals, bonfires were made with special kindling and bundles of herbs thrown into the flames to encourage protective powers.
The celebration of Beltane signifies fertility, love, connection, pleasure, and creation. We honor that life has come back to the Earth in the form of flowers, leaves, gardens, and more. The days have become both longer and warmer, allowing us to connect more with the soil, rivers, and earth. For many animals, spring is a time for mating and creating new life. This is a great time to deepen your relationship with yourself and with those around you. Beltane also signifies a time of year when the veil between realms is thin. The thinning of the veils happens twice a year, during Samhain and Beltane, and there is a difference between the two. During Samhain, the realm between the living and the dead is thin, allowing us to connect with spirits that have passed on. Whereas Beltane signifies the realm between the human and nature spirit world. It is said that Beltane is a time when you are most able to connect with the fae, fairies, gnomes, nymphs, and other nature spirits.
Herbs for Beltane:
Plants for Beltane:
Ways to Celebrate Beltane:
- Having a bonfire
- Lighting candles
- Making flower crowns
- Having a May Pole
- Leaving offerings for fairies and other nature spirits
- Smoke or fire rituals
Flower Crowns for Beltane by Amanda Furbee
Beltane is the perfect opportunity to use Spring Flowers for the perfect flower crown. Flower crowns are a great addition to any event or outfit.
Here’s what you will need:
- Flowers of choice
- 24-gauge florist wire
- Floral scissors
- Floral tape
- Fabric tape measure
To Make Your Own Flower Crown:
- Measure the circumference of your head for the correct size of wire to cut.
- Take 2 of the measured florist wires and twist the ends together. If you are going to use heavier flowers, make sure to double up the wire for a stronger hold.
- Trim your flower but leave approximately 3” in stem length.
- Wrap your flower stems with florist wire if they seem flimsy. Take about 4” of wire and push into the stem starting at the top of the flower.
- Use floral tape to wrap the entire stem. This step is also optional, but it makes the biggest difference as it adds support and creates the illusion of one solid stem. You can also wrap a few blooms together to create small bunches of flowers.
- Begin to attach your wrapped flowers to the wire crown. Make sure all your flowers are going in the same direction. Wrap them with florist tape to secure them to the flower crown.
- To keep your flower crown fresh for a few days, you can keep it in the refrigerator.