While some people reckon the beginning of summer is marked by the solstice near 21st June, in the old Irish way of seeing the wheel of the year summer begins with May. It still may be chilly, especially at night; we could still be in for a frost and anxiously tuck up tender plants. The days are quite long and the showers are gentle and infrequent. But May, or Bealtaine in the Irish language, is the start of the fast and furious schedule of festivals, fleadhs and feis. I do have to say the Bealtaine is my favourite month of the year in Ireland. To my mind the month of May, or Bealtaine, is the most blissful and best time of year to visit Ireland.