Music for Beltane Eve

Today is the last day of April and tomor­row is May Day, also known tra­di­tion­al­ly as Beltane. In the mod­ern Neo­pa­gan cal­en­dar, Beltane is one of the cross-quar­ter days where the Sun is mid-way between Equinox and Sol­stice, and the oppor­tu­ni­ty for a Fire Fes­ti­val. It’s also a Sab­bat for the Wic­can com­mu­ni­ty, where it takes on some of the char­ac­ter­is­tics of a Ger­man­ic May Day fes­ti­val with an empha­sis on fer­til­i­ty and the inclu­sion of May­pole danc­ing.

We should also remem­ber that May 1 is also tra­di­tion­al­ly a day of cel­e­brat­ing the work­ing peo­ple of the world. The image shown here is an illus­tra­tion by Wal­ter Crane from 1895 which brings togeth­er both the tra­di­tion­al mean­ing of May Day and the impor­tance of the cel­e­bra­tion to work­ing peo­ple — and today’s pro­gramme is ded­i­cat­ed to work­ers around the world strug­gling for fair treat­ment at the hands of the pow­er­ful.

Today’s pro­gramme presents some music to help get you in the mood for the big fes­ti­val of tomor­row, with tra­di­tion­al danc­ing and pieces of music that evoke the time of year. It majors on the tra­di­tion­al dance, with some Celtic mate­r­i­al and oth­er music thrown in, and we leave it to oth­ers to delve deep­er into the Neo­pa­gan and Wic­can aspects of the fes­ti­val. In par­tic­u­lar we draw your atten­tion to Radio Riel Rever­ie at 6pm Pacif­ic today, where Gabi will present a spe­cial pro­gramme for Beltane.

Don’t for­get to join us at 11am and 7pm Pacif­ic Time (19:00 and 03:00 in the UK) for the lat­est instal­ments in our excit­ing radio adven­tures — Return to Inver­ness and The Illu­sion­ati in The ZBS Radio Hour.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin and pro­duced by Radio Riel in con­junc­tion with our friends at the Alexan­dri­an Free Library Con­sor­tium of Sec­ond Life. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme in-world now at, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link:

For more infor­ma­tion on the Alexan­dri­an Free Library, cur­rent exhibits and the work of Con­sor­tium mem­bers in gen­er­al, please vis­it the Alexan­dri­an Free Library web­site, or one of their branch­es in-world.

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