Beltane Fire Festival held in Edinburgh to welcome summer – BBC News

Image copyright Ellen Duffy

Thousands of people are expected to gather on Calton Hill in Edinburgh later for the Beltane Fire Festival.

The celebrations to mark the coming of summer will continue into Monday morning.

The modern Beltane Fire Festival has run since 1988 so this year will be its 30th.

The Celtic celebration will include drummers and fire dancers. There will be physical theatre, as well as a large bonfire.

Calton Hill will be transformed for the festival, which will begin when the sun goes down at about 21:30.

During the event the Green Man is killed as god of winter and reborn as spring to consort with the May Queen.

All the fires are put out and relit using a fire made from a piece of wood from last year’s festival.

Image copyright Daniel Rannoch

Angus Farquahr, Edinburgh’s Beltane Fire Festival founder, said: “Since we restarted it in its modern form 30 years ago, the Beltane Festival has continued to grow and flourish.

“It always felt apt to celebrate spring, warmth coming back into the air and the miracle of renewal as witnessed through the annual arc of growth and fecundity in the natural world.

“I am incredibly proud of its evolution, the energy and commitment of the hundreds of volunteers who make it happen and draw strength from the heart of its rituals and traditions.”

Image copyright Nicole Taylor
Image copyright Simon Crofts

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