Beltane Cake (and the Beltane Carline)
For those who can remember as far back as the May 2007 Recipe File, you will recall I wrote about the celebration of Beltane which marked the return of summer. We live in hope that Beltane, which falls on 30 April and 1 May, will indeed bring some longed for fair weather.
Accounts of the Beltane festivities mention a Beltane Cake. This spicy cake was prepared on the last day of April in readiness for the evening’s festivities. The cake was broken up and distributed to the crowds. The person who received a specific blackened portion, referred to as the Beltane Carline, was condemned to symbolic doom. Made to leap three times through the fire, the unlucky person would then be considered a symbolic sacrifice and referred to as being dead for the rest of the evening. Come to think of it, I’ve been to parties like that!