- the return of the Sun
Beltane is a Celtic festival which signals the beginning of the bright half of the year. Beltane may be translated as "fires of Bel" or "brilliant fire" and is name after the god Belenus.
The festival begins on Beltane Eve with two bonfires started from nine different woods. Domestic animals and people pass between the bonfires to eliminate disease and misfortune. In the days before electricity, the bonfire was used to light brands which rekindled lights throughout households in the village. Ancient Beltane festivals customarily included sexuality, dancing around the maypole, and singing.
Modern pagan celebrations include maypole dances and jumping the cauldron for fertility purposes. Fertility in this sense is extended beyond reproduction and includes fertility of imagination and other similar concepts.