original art by Julia Jeffrey
I love Beltane, which marks the beginning of the light half of the year in the Celtic calendar. It is celebrated with bonfires, revelry, dancing, maypoles …. and rituals and ceremonies celebrating the union of the Goddess and the Green Man. [You may remember the song “The Lusty Month of May” from the musical “Camelot”, a song which definitely captures all aspects of this feast day! ]
But whento celebrate Beltane can be confusing… as well as how to pronounce it and spell it!
Because we are translating from the Celtic / Irish-Gaelic language, use the phonetic English spelling that works best for you … Beltane, Bealtaine, etc. Most folks pronounce the word literally (bell-tane). In Ireland, Irish-Gaelic speakers refer to the month of May as Bealtaine, and pronounce it bee–yowl–tanna.
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