The Professor is also mistaken in stating that the Beltane fair of Peebles was to be kept for eight days.
The Highlanders have a proverb, “he is between two Beltane fires.”
In the central highlands of Scotland the Beltane fires were kindled on the 1st of May.
The Beltane customs seem to have been the same as elsewhere.
He was devoted to the fadets or spirits,931 and perhaps, like the "devoted" Beltane victim, he may formerly have been sacrificed.
The fuel was piled on a hill-top, and at the fire the Beltane cake was cooked.
In the north-east of Scotland Beltane fires were still kindled in the latter half of the 18th century.
The following account of Beltane is extracted from a chapter dealing with Highland superstitions.
This form of the Beltane superstition was observed in the north of England, and in Scotland, about fifty years ago.
There is some difference of opinion as to the particular day on which the Beltane festival was held in this country.
early 15c., from Lowland Scottish, from Gaelic bealltainn "May 1," important Celtic religious rite marking the start of summer, probably literally "blazing fire," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)) + Old Irish ten "fire," from PIE *tepnos, related to Latin tepidus "warm." But this derivation of the second element is hotly disputed by some on philological grounds, and fires were equally important in the other Celtic holidays.
The rubbish about Baal, Bel, Belus imported into the word from the Old Testament and classical antiquity, is outside the scope of scientific etymology. [OED]Also known as "Old May Day," because after the 1752 calendar reform it continued to be reckoned according to Old Style; it was one of the quarter-days of ancient Scotland.