The four corners of the natural calendar for our planet are the two solstices and the two equinoxes. Ancient pagan folks also divided the seasons between these points in half to create four other calendar points, and the Gaels designated them as Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain, and Imbolc. Samhain became associated with Halloween, Imbolc became Groundhog Day, and Lughnasadh is ignored because it’s hard to pronounce and there seems to be a law against having holidays in August. That leaves Beltane, which is coming up and is often associated with May Day.
Beltane begins at sunset on April 30 and continues through May first. It is supposed to be the beginning of summer, which seems a little early considering that our calendars place it on June 21, and many of us use Memorial Day as the marker in reality. But when you are planting a garden, May starts the crop season. You’ll learn a lot about the ancient and mostly forgotten pagan holiday of Beltane at Mental Floss.
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