Bonfire Craft for Bealtaine

There is something utterly joyful about the beginning of May. The start of the Summer, better weather, flowers blooming and the sun inching ever closer to its zenith. May Day should be all about getting outside and celebrating the bright sunshiney beauty all around us.

The fire festival Bealtaine was an important date on the Celtic calendar and celebrated on the first day of May. The long weekend, allows us some extra time this year - so why not have a simple family celebration to welcome in the Summer?! Perhaps take a walk out in nature to see what is in bloom. Collect some flowers for your nature table. Tree blossoms such as Hawthorn and Rowan or yellow flowers such as Gorse and Primroses are all in bloom at this time of year. Hawthorn and Rowan were believed to have magical properties which protect from malevolent beings and the yellow flowers signified fire to our ancestors - perfect for Bealtaine. While you are out and about, you might also gather some sticks and small stones to make the craft described below.

Like at Samhain, bonfires were a traditional part of the sacred rituals of Bealtaine. In modern times it is not common for public bonfires to be lit at this time of year and there are many restrictions on lighting fires at home. Candles can be used, of course, as they can at any celebration! - but why not try this colourful craft with your children as a way to bring some of the bonfire tradition into your home instead.

Bealtaine Bonfire


You Will Need:
Cardboard
White/PVA Glue
Stones
Sticks
Red, Orange, Yellow Tissue Paper
Toothpick


To Assemble:
  • Cut a circle of cardboard. 
  • Put a thick layer of glue around the circumference of the circle and stick the stones in a ring around it. 
  • Arrange and glue the sticks in a pile in the centre. 
  • Tear the tissue into rough 2” squares. Place the toothpick at the centre of a square, without piercing the tissue, and wrap it around the pick.
  • Dab some glue onto the tip and place it among the pile of sticks, removing the toothpick afterwards.
  • Use red tissue on the bottom level, orange in the centre and a few yellow pieces at the top of the pile.
  • Let your bonfire dry overnight.

Add it to your nature table as a simple tribute to the traditional symbols of Bealtaine. Or, if the weather isn't quite as sunny as you would like, maybe some indoor camping and picnicking by the bonfire would be fun instead!

Happy Bealtaine!

6 comments

  1. I knew you would do a post for Bealtaine and was looking forward to it. A lovely craft idea and simple enough to do, this would be great as part of a May nature table. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks Naomi. I'm all about the simple crafts! My girls have been 'camping' with this one already, but it looks lovely as part of a nature table.

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  2. What a gorgeous idea! We were thinking about doing a "real" bonfire if the weather held; I think small ones would love this even more :)

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    1. Oh, wonderful - I don't think our neighbours would be too impressed if we started lighting fires - but I'd love to have the space at some stage! This is a great option to keep little hands busy (and safe!) alright!

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  3. Yesterday the dog aka Blogger, ate my comment. Grrrrrr... I love this time of year and what a lovely way to mark it xx

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    1. Sorry about that :( It's so annoying when that happens! Thanks so much for trying again and for your lovely comment xxx

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