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In terms of Gods and Goddesses associated with this festival, this appears to be a more God focused day. I don't know if this is in the nature of the festival or if it's just what has survived over the past few thousand years. Although, that being said, the May Queen is an important figure in many celebrations.

Stags are an important animal for this time of year. You can imagine that some five thousand years ago a shaman with a stag head dress would lead celebrations. Today that imagery continues in the idea of a stag night – when the man who's about to be married goes out for a last party. There appear to be some very old echoes between the two.

Aside from all greenery as represented by the Green Man, there is one special plant for this time of year – Hawthorn. It is sometimes called May Tree so closely is it entwined in this festival. It is a very magickal plant, with lots of folklore associated with it. It is said to be unlucky to cut down a tree as it is home to faeries. It is also called the lightening tree – another reference to the quick, fertilising energy that blasts through this day.

For food, we tend to honour the solar aspects of this day with spicy and Mexican food. Once again, seasonal food and especially green leafy salads are good. Likewise, sensuous deserts like chocolate mousse are nice at this time.

Beltane is a good time to get out and celebrate a genuinely pagan festival within your community. Enjoy the sights, sounds and experience of Morris Dancing, browse stalls and soak up the ancient feel of this festival.

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