Beltane (Leanne Daharja Veitch)

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  • CPDL #23289:     
Editor: Leanne Daharja Veitch (submitted 2011-03-21).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 32 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: First release of movement 6, "Beltane" from "Wheel of the Year" as a separate work.

General Information

Title: Beltane
Composer: Leanne Daharja Veitch

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SSAB
Genre: SacredPagan music

Language: English
Instruments: Flute (can be successfully replaced with keyboard or recorders if necessary)

First published: 2004

Description: First release of movement 6, "Beltane" from "Wheel of the Year" as a separate work.

What is Beltane?

Beltane is the festival of the Sacred Marriage, and is the time of the year when sexuality and fertility are traditionally recognised and most revered. Beltane is celebrated on the 31st of October / 1st November in the Southern hemisphere, and on 1 May or thereabouts in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also known as Mayday (English) or Maying, Bealtinne (Scottish), the Festival of Tana (Italy/Latin), and Walburga (Teutonic).

At Beltane, the Maypole is a common fixture. Ribbons are woven around a solid central staff or pole. The key to a successful simple maypole dance is to have an even number of participants, or the weave will not work. Every alternate weaver should hold the end of a ribbon (the other end of which is attached to the top of the central staff), and move deosil and widdershins respectively, moving first outside and then inside as they pass one another. The pattern will build as the pole is woven. The Maypole is, of course, a phallic symbol (representative of the male sexual organ).

At Beltane, Beltane fires, or bonfires, are lit, and it is traditional to leap the fire for luck, especially for young couples and newlyweds.

Other festivities at Beltane (apart from the traditional nighttime fun of lovers!) include bobbing for apples, and sharing in seasonal fruit.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Brightly the fires at Beltane burn
Rise, as the dusklight is fading
And we will dance, as we sing this song
Sing to the Lord and the Lady.