Bealtaine is one of the four major Irish Celtic annual festivals along with Imbolc Samhain and Lughnasa. It signifies the return of the light. The Festival was celebrated with Flowers, Fire and Water.
Yellow flowers were particularly favoured and grow in abundance at this time of year. Flowers left at holy wells on May Day were also thought to be restorative. Gorse, buttercup, marigolds, primrose and hawthorn blossoms were laid on doorsteps, may trees and bushes to deter faeries who were known for their dislike of the colour yellow. They were also used to decorate beautiful flower crowns.
As with all the major festivals Fire was an extremely important part of the celebrations. The lighting of the Bealtaine fire is one of Irelands oldest traditions and marked the arrival of Summer. The flames, ashes and smoke were believed to have protective powers.
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