Beltane is coming! For those who don’t know, Beltane is sometimes known as May Day, which is observed on May 1st. It marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice on the wheel of the year. Beltane is associated with flowers, abundance, fertility, bonfires, maypoles, gardening, trees, honey cakes, fruit, feasting, love, and the approach of summer. Sounds fun, no?
There are all sorts of ways to celebrate Beltane from a hygge herbologist approach! Below are a few of my favorite ideas. I’m sharing them in a maximalist / minimalist format in case you’re like me and tend to talk yourself out of things that you were excited about, but that end up sounding energy-draining when the time nears. That way you won’t be bummed with yourself for mixing the idea altogether. (That’s my approach, anyway!)
Max: Light a Bonfire / Min: Just burn a candle or incense
Bonfires are a very traditional part on Beltane, going back to the Celts. Your backyard fire pit would make the perfect Beltane bonfire. Or, if you are an apartment dweller or just not feeling the fire pit thing, light a floral candle or few to brighten the occasion!
Max: Bake honey + floral cookies or cakes / Min: Just make honey + floral fruit salad
Lavender or rose and citrus zest make perfect compliments to a honey cake or shortbread. Try one of the recipes from my Pinterest board! Or, if fruit salad is more your speed, go with a combo like berries, apples, and peaches, with honey, citrus zest, and herbs (fresh mint or lemon balm are excellent choices).
Max: Plant something new / Min: Just plan out your soon-to-be garden
I am planning to plant a couple of hardy herbs in containers as part of Beltane weekend (it’s still within the frost window here so I’m not doing everything yet). Whether or not that actually happens, though, I am definitely going to take some time to sketch out plans for the rest of my container garden. Use that Beltane creative energy to your advantage!
Max OR Min: Make Beltane tea
Minimalist or maximalist, herbal tea can be a tradition and ritual that makes for a special and fun way to mark each sabbat. I am sharing my recipe for a Beltane herbal tea blend, or you can create your own!
Beltane Tea recipe:
1 part Elderflower || 2 parts Chamomile 2 parts Lemon balm || 1 part Mint 1 part Green Rooibos (optional; could also replace with loose leaf green tea)
Note—steep with just-boiled water up to 10-15 minutes unless you add green tea, in which case you’ll want a little cooler water and shorter steep time, probably about 3-4 minutes max.
How are you planning to celebrate Beltane? Or do you have another seasonal celebration to mark the halfway point between spring and summer?