Back in the day – and we’re talking really back in the day – you and I would still be asleep, worn out from a night of watching the lighting of the Beltane fires, helping drive the cattle and carrying all our wealth through the paths between these huge bonfires, and then eating and drinking and making love all night long.
As the sunset on Beltane eve (last night), the fire would have been lit on a hilltop in the far west of Ireland. The folk on the next hilltop several miles away would see it, and light their fire. Then the next hilltop – and in a fairly short time, there would be gigantic fires on hilltops from one end of the country to another, and the festival was on.
This is the first day of summer in the old mythology. When we look at it this way, we experience the entire season. So June 21 really is midsummer, and August 1 is the first day of autumn – when the leaves first start to fall.
I am really homesick for the old days. I’m going to spend Beltane being mentally back in the day. Will get back to you when I rejoin this century.