Join the Cornwall Faith Forum celebrate Beltane on Sunday, 12th May at 2.00 pm at the Dor Kemmyn Peace Field, Penmount, Truro. Refreshments will be served afterwards.
Beltane is one of the four “fire” festivals celebrated annually by many Cornish pagans. It is celebrated on May Day, the 1st May, (or in the Southern Hemisphere, 1st November). Although it is spelt in many different ways, “Bel” is thought to refer to an ancient Celtic God, the Bright One, god of light and fire. It is a joyful festival where we celebrate the waxing power of the sun and the rising power and energy of Spring.
For many it marks the beginning of summer, but it is mainly seen as a celebration of fertility. We see the promise of fertility being expressed in Nature in new life all around us.
Historically, Beltane was celebrated by the lighting of fires, often on hilltops. “Jumping the fire” is a Beltane tradition for many pagans. In the past, lovers would jump over the magical Beltane fire hand in hand ; travellers would jump to ensure a safe journey. Young people would jump wishing for a husband or wife; young women to ensure fertility. Livestock would be driven over the embers, or between two Bel fires, in order to give protection from diseases and ensure a good increase in flocks and herds.
There are many other May Day celebrations around the country: Maypoles are perhaps the most widely recognised. Here is Cornwall of course, we have many May traditions of our own, including the Padstow’s Obby Oss and Helston’s Flora Day.