Bealltainn, Beltane the Start of Scottish Summer.

  • Its the first of May, Happy Bealltainn! One of the best days of the year in my humble opinion…its coming indicates its time to go out searching for wildcrafted herbs and fresh young shoots of plants. So what are your plans for today? Why not start it off by listening to this amazing traditional song by The Gloaming calling in the Summer (Samhradh means summer in Irish gaelic). I have provided a the lyrics and a translation after the video.

  • Là Bealltainn, the summer hinge the swinging open of the door to Samhradh, summer. The liminal time, the otherworld now just a heart beat away. Yet in true Scottish irony it comes in with the “Gab of May“.  These first days of “Summer” , the “Gab”, are traditionally cold and wet. There are four major festivals for us. With a nod towards the Winter and summer solstice providing the structure of our year. Imbolc, La Fheil Bride, is the Mid winter festival and Lughnassadh or Lunastal  the mid summer festival. Leaving  Là Bealltainn the celebration of the end of winter. Samhuinn the …

  • On first glance Bealtainn and May Day might not have very much in common. One a celebration and the other a political action but I don’t see them as different at all, sadly just the numbers they attract. Bealtainn: The clarion call to a summer’s promise, the adversity of winter has come to an end and the promise of a warmer, easier and fitful time is upon us. Celebrating this festival is a highlight of the Edinburgh City “night life”, over 6000 people gathered together on Calton Hill.

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