Bealtaine Eve.

In Folklore, Gardening on April 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

The Eve of Bealtaine, the beginning of the celebration of the first day of Summer according to the old Celtic calendar. The good weather this year make the vibrancy and energy of the season more tangible than usual. There is an old saying to predict the weather ” Ash before Oak, you’re in for a soak. Oak before Ash, you’re in for a splash.” As you can see from the pic above the Oak is in leaf first, in Arigna anyway!

The hedgerows are full of wildflowers right now.

The name Bealtaine comes from the Celtic god, Bel, meaning bright one, and the Gaelic word, teine, meaning fire. Midnight tonight is the traditional time for fires to be lit. The lighting of fires was seen as a symbol of purification for man and beast. The Celts used to build 2 fires and drive the livestock between them, this ensured fertility and a good milk yield.

Ferns are almost fully unfurled now.

The Earth’s energies are at their most active now, everything is a fresh new green. The Hawthorn or Maybush is just coming into flower. It was an important plant at Bealtaine, bunches were collected early on a May morning and placed above the doors and windows as a protection. They were also placed on doors of the animal houses.

Anyone know what this tiny flower is? The hedgerows are full of it.

The dew collected on a May morning was believed to have magical properties. If used to wash your face it was said you would’nt be burnt by the sun or get wrinkles.

  1. Happy Bealtaine Bridget and Andy…the beginning of Summer!
    Blessings, Colette x

    • To you too Colette, may it be a Summer of abundance for us all. Farming forecast says it should rain on Thursday, fingers crossed.

  2. It’s certainly colourful in the hedgerows right now and it looks like we might be in for a ‘Splash’ in Tipperary as well – the ash is still only thinking of waking up. The flower you have in the photo looks like a chickweed, ‘Stellaria (because of it’s 5 deeply lobed petals) media’, Culpeper said, it’s ‘a fine, soft pleasing herb under the dominion of the Moon’.
    Happy Bealtaine

  3. A wonderful and beautifully expressed post, Bridget. Happy Beltaine to you and those you love. May we all celebrate love and happiness, good health, a good year for new growth and regeneration in all living things, and positive energy flowing from the universe to all of us. Thank you for this – it’s truly made me smile.

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