Saturday, 30 April 2016

May Day, Beltane, and the menace of May Eve

May Day, Beltane, and the menace of May Eve
Fiery sacrifices, outdoor sex and morris dancing at dawn – Professor Nick Groom guides us through the cultural history of May Eve and May Day…

The first of May is Beltane, the pagan festival celebrating summer, so named for the ‘lucky fire’. Beltane fires were traditionally lit in the Central Scottish Highlands on 1 May in rituals that carried threats of human sacrifice.

In one parish, it was recorded in the eighteenth century, a fire was lit and a cake baked and divided into pieces, one of which was daubed with charcoal. The villagers were blindfolded and each picked a piece:

Whoever draws the black bit is the devoted person who is to be sacrificed to Baal, whose favour they mean to implore, in rendering the year productive of the sustenance of man and beast.
Read on below ;) #Beltain

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