Info:Main Page

New World Encyclopedia integrates facts with values.

Written by online collaboration with certified experts.

Did you know?

It is said that Saint Andrew, refusing to be crucified on the same type of cross as Christ because he was not worthy, was martyred on an X-shaped cross. (read more)

Featured Article: Beltane

The burning Phoenix and sprites at the Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh.
Beltane (pronounced /ˈbɛltən/) is the anglicized spelling of Bealtaine or Bealltainn, the Gaelic names for either the month of May or the festival that takes place on the first day of May. In Irish Gaelic the month of May is known as Mí Bealtaine or Bealtaine and the festival as Lá Bealtaine ('day of Bealtaine' or, 'May Day'). In Scottish Gaelic the month is known as either (An) Cèitean or a' Mhàigh, and the festival is known as Latha Bealltainn or simply Bealltainn. The feast was also known as Céad Shamhain or Cétshamhainin from which the word Céitean derives.

As an ancient Gaelic festival, Beltane was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. There were similar festivals held at the same time in the other Celtic countries of Wales, Brittany, and Cornwall.

Beltane was one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh. Beltane (the beginning of summer) and Samhain (the beginning of winter) are thought to have been the most important. The festival survives in folkloric practices in the Celtic Nations and the diaspora, and has experienced a degree of revival since the late twentieth century.

Popular Article: Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was one of the great polymaths of his age. He was a mathematician, astronomer, jurist, physician, classical scholar, governor, administrator, diplomat, economist, and soldier. Amid his extensive accomplishments, he treated astronomy as an avocation. But it is for his work in astronomy and cosmology that he has been remembered and accorded a place as one of the most important scientific figures in human history. He provided the first modern formulation of a heliocentric (Sun-centered) theory of the solar system in his epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres). That change, often known as the Copernican revolution, had important and far-reaching implications for not only science and cosmology but also theology, philosophy, and culture, and for the relationship between religion and science. Copernicus' concept marked a scientific revolution. Some equate it with the initiation of "the scientific revolution.