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Beltane

Subject: Religion

An ancient Celtic festival celebrated on May Day, marked by bonfires being kindled on the hills. Beltane was also traditionally one of the quarter-days in Scotland, the others being ...

Beltane

Beltane   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... (Scottish Gaelic bealltainn ) An ancient Celtic festival with a sacrificial fire on may day . The derivation is uncertain, but the name is not connected with baal . Fires were lit on hill tops, and cattle were driven between the flames, either to protect them from disease or as a preparation for sacrifice. Animal guisering, familiar from the hobby horse ( see hobby ), derives from Beltane animal sacrifices, and a person born ‘between the Beltanes’, i.e. in the week beginning on May Day, is said to have power and influence over all living...

Beltane

Beltane   Quick reference

A Dictionary of English Folklore

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003

... . This word, variously spelled and meaning ‘bright fire’ or ‘lucky fire’, is the Irish and Scottish Gaelic name for May Day , and is particularly associated with the custom of lighting bonfires on the eve of the feast, to protect cattle from witchcraft. May Eve bonfires were also common in the 18th century in Devon, Cornwall, Cumbria, and the Isle of Man—areas where Celtic tradition could have survived. The word ‘Beltane’ itself, however, is never found in England ( Hutton , 1996 :...

Beltane

Beltane   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

... an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on May Day, marked by bonfires being kindled on the hills. Beltane was also traditionally one of the quarter-days in Scotland, the others being Hallowmas , Candlemas , and Lammas . The name comes from the Celtic name for the day which marked the beginning of summer. In recent times, Beltane has been celebrated as a modern Pagan...

Beltane

Beltane   Quick reference

New Oxford Rhyming Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Language reference
Length:
109 words

... • airplane , terreplein • sailplane , tailplane • mainplane • seaplane , ski-plane • chilblain • biplane , triplane • warplane • towplane • Tamerlane • monoplane • aeroplane • gyroplane • hydroplane • châtelaine • aquaplane • balletomane • Moulmein • Charlemagne • frangipane • propane • windowpane • counterpane • membrane • checkrein • lamebrain • migraine • ingrain • quatrain • grosgrain • wholegrain • scatterbrain • suzerain • birdbrain • sixain • elastane • Beltane • Aquitaine • octane • Fonteyn , montane • Holstein •...

Beltane

Beltane noun   Quick reference

New Oxford American Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
32 words
Beltane

Beltane noun   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
32 words
Beltane

Beltane noun   Reference library

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
17 words
Beltane

Beltane noun   Reference library

The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
17 words
Beltane

Beltane noun   Reference library

Australian Oxford Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
17 words
Beltane

Beltane  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
An ancient Celtic festival celebrated on May Day, marked by bonfires being kindled on the hills. Beltane was also traditionally one of the quarter-days in Scotland, the others being Hallowmas, ...
Folklore, Customs, and Civic Ritual

Folklore, Customs, and Civic Ritual   Quick reference

Charles Phythian-Adams

The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Local and Family History
Length:
6,037 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

...for geographical or cultural reasons it is not clear) by symbolically marking the beginning and end of summer with observances which were probably concerned with first‐fruits and harvest. In the pastoral Celtic areas of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, for example, the feasts of Beltane (May Day eve) and Samhain (1 November, the Celtic New Year), included the lighting of fires at dawn in the case of the former and at dusk in the case of the latter. It is notable that other pasture‐farming areas in England similarly not only emphasized May Day (which was...

Dydd Calan Mai

Dydd Calan Mai  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
Welsh for May Day; see CALAN MAI; BELTAINE.
Kala-Hañv

Kala-Hañv  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
[Bret. kala, calend, convocation; hañv, summer].The Breton expression for Beltaine or May Day.
Samhain

Samhain  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
(1901–6, six issues; 1908, one issue), the organ of the Irish Literary Theatre [see Abbey Theatre], following Beltaine, and edited by W. B. Yeats.
Galan Mai

Galan Mai  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
Mutated form of Calan Mai and Dydd Calan Mai [W, May Day]; see BELTAINE.
Bealtaine

Bealtaine  

(1 May),the first day of summer and one of the four traditional ‘quarter days’, important in the calendar customs of Goidelic‐speaking areas up to the twentieth century. The name's ...
Belenus

Belenus  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
Also known in Celtic Ireland and Britain by various names—Bel, Belinos, Beli, Bile—Belenus is a god of Celtic Gaul whom Julius Caesar compared to the Greco-Roman Apollo as a solar ...
Cala' Me

Cala' Me  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
Cornish for May Day; see CALAN MAI; BELTAINE.
Corleck Hill

Corleck Hill  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
Sometimes known in Irish as Sliabh na Trí nDée, Sliabh na nDée Dána [Ir., hill of the three gods], a promontory near Drumeague, Co. Cavan, once known as ‘the pulse of Ireland’. A stone head of Brigit ...
Flann mac Díma

Flann mac Díma  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
Hapless lover of Mugain (3), wife of Diarmait mac Cerbaill, king of Tara. Jealous Diarmait set fire to Flann's house, during which the lover was burned, sought refuge in a vat of water, and drowned ...

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