Last night I celebrated Beltane. Beltane is one of the main festivals in Wicca, celebrated on April 30th/May 1st. It's all about fire and fertility. Wiccans believe that the Goddess gives birth to the God (the sun) at Yule, by Beltane the God is a virile young man who takes the Goddess as his lover. Young people used to use Beltane as a time that they would go into the woods and choose a lover, under the pretense of "gathering may flowers". To come back the next morning with a basket full of flowers would be a sure sign they weren't successful! Beltane is a time to do magics for good fortune and fertility in all areas of your life.
I particulary like this verse from Rudgard Kipling's 'A Tree Song'
"Oh, do not tell the priest our plight, Or he would call it a sin; But--we have been out in the woods all night, A-conjuring Summer in! And we bring you good news by word of mouth -- Good news for cattle and corn -- Now is the Sun come up from the south, With Oak, and Ash, and Thorn! "
Here are a few of photo's from our celebration:
Our indoor version of a Beltane fire: