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Traditionally the first day of summer, the earliest celebrations of Beltane appeared in pre-Christian times with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also strongly associated with the Gaelic Beltane (bright fire). Since the Christianization of Europe, a more secular version of the festival has continued in Europe and America. Beltane is well known for maypole dancing and the crowning of the Queen of the May. A propitious time for performing the Great Rite of Witchcraft, Beltane is ripe for sexual magic and fertility rites.

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