Belatane Tradition / Ritual in Caledonia | World Anvil
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Beltane is one of the principal four seasonal festivals—along with Samhain, Imbolc, and Lùnastal celebrated among the tribes of Albion. The festival marks the changing of the seasons from spring to the first of summer, traditionally observed upon the first flowering of the hawthorn bush. It is the time of year when livestock are drove to their summer pastures with rituals being performed to protect them for the coming season. Although each community has diverse ceremonies they all hold in common the lighting of two bonfires whereby the people drive the cattle between the bonfire and then follow them in merry procession between the flames. The flames of the scared fire are thought to be imbued with apotropaic properties, before the lighting of the sacred fires each household extinguishes their hearth fires and lamps and re kindled from the sacred bonfire. These fires are set alight in a peculiar manner. the whole community coming together and the young men congregate to light a need fire by vigorously rubbing two pieces of wood together by friction action whilst shouting and chanting in great cheer, a druid then take the embers of the need fire and carry them to the bonfires whilst speaking incantations with this they set alight he bonfires and the festivities begin.   After the procession has been led through the flames the community fall to feasting and games, Each person decorates themselves with a garland of white and yellow mayflowers, primroses, hawthorn and gorse, resembling the colours of the scared fire. They decorate a may bush with boughs of these flowers, normally a hawthorn bush or some other thorny tree to be the may bush that is covered with the yellow and white mayflowers, then they go about the community adorning the threshold of houses holy wells and barns with mayflowers until the whole place is a sight to behold resplendent with the colours of the mayflowers.   These flowers are a symbolic offering to the fairies, thought to harken back to a time when the druids fought the war of the trees, the fairies are beings of the forests and glens and they are set at ease by the bright flowers of their bucolic dwellings. For this reason the mayflowers are set at the thresholds and scared water sources. the waters of the scared wells are protected by being marked by the mayflowers for if they were not the fairies would surely poison the waters, and the milk in the dairy and the grain in the lofts. although these are the stories that the parents tell the little ones, they all obey the customs of Beltane with much fervour as if the wrath of the fairies were upon them.

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