Bealtaine is the Gaelic May Day festival. Most commonly it is held on the 1st May, or about halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice and while technically that means 05.36 on Wed morn, we’re sticking with tonight if that’s ok!
Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, one of the four Gaelic cross quarter days—along with Samhain, Imbolc and Lughnasa.
It marked the beginning of summer and was when cattle were driven out to the summer pastures. Rituals were performed to protect the cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth. Special bonfires were kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective power.
We'll be going live tonight at 7pm with the following guests covering a whole host of topics surrounding Bealtaine: -
· Mary Harte, archaeologist and broadcaster
· Sean Beattie, historian and editor
· Catherine Rhatigan, musician and producer
· Seoirse O’Dochartaigh, musician and painter
· Dessie McCallion, tour guide and oracle
· Marie and the Magerini of Fabio and Gemateo in Italy