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Alternative forms[edit]


From the Celtic *belo-tanos "bright fire".

Proper noun[edit]


  1. The first day of May (since 1752); May Day, a Scottish quarter day, sometimes associated by Christians with the nearest Church Feast, the Invention of the Cross (May 3rd), and Whitsunday (May 15th).
    • 1424, James I of Scotland, The lawes and actes of parliament maid be King James the first and his successours kinges of Scotland[1], Edinburgh edition, Robert Waldegrave, published 1597, page A3:
      And quhair it be tainted that they big, and the Birdes be flowin, and the nest be funden in the Trees at Beltane the trees sal be foirfaulted to the King (bot gif they be redeemed fra him, throw them that they first perteined to) and hewin downe, and siue schillings to the King is unlaw.
  2. An ancient Gaelic/Celtic May Day holiday celebration, at which large bonfires were built on the hill tops, revived by Celtic neopagans.

See also[edit]


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