What is Beltane?

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What is Beltane?
Art by Hugh McMahon
A Tale of Four Seasons

The ancient Celtic year was built around the four seasons. Each season was marked with two holidays (8 in total). The four main holidays fall in the middle of our current seasons, and the year begins on Samhain.
Samhain (pronounced SAHwen): Oct. 31st. The start of 6 months of darkness and death, Samhain marks the beginning of winter. Herds are brought out of the pastures; some are led into stables for protection, and others slaughtered for the family’s survival (also because feed is scarce). This holiday is the time when the veil between life and death is thinnest. People honor their deceased ancestors through large gatherings with bonfires, dancing, feasting and the building of altars. Halloween’s origins came from Samhain, which remains the most popular Gaelic holiday.
Imbolc (Im-mbolg): Feb. 2nd. The festival marks the coming of spring…

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