Beltane Fire Festival 2019: a seductive ritual (in Edinburgh)

Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland Start Date: 30/04/2019 End Date: 30/04/2019

The Edinburgh Fire Festival

Possibly one of the very few times grown men and women can dance around naked without being arrested.

The Beltane Fire Festival takes place on Tuesday, 30th April on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The event celebrates the birth of summer and the death of spring by celebrating the light on what is considered to be the most magical nights of the year.

The Edinburgh Fire Festival

Possibly one of the very few times grown men and women can dance around naked without being arrested. The Beltane Fire Festival takes place on Tuesday, 30th April on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland.

performers of beltane fire festival in red

Image by: #bladerunner

 

The event celebrates the birth of summer and the death of spring by celebrating the light on what is considered to be the most magical nights of the year.

The Importance of Fire in the Festival

Fire plays a very big part in the festivities. This symbolizes rebirth and purity and all the relevant character perform spellbinding fire displays.

 

The Fire Festival is very much a part of the Celtic tradition and people are encouraged to celebrate as they wish.

 

It is the only festival of its kind, with the story of rebirth, death and the battle of the seasons being re-enacted with fire, drums, a procession and loads of pyrotechnics.

dancing near the fire at the beltane fire festival

Image by: Stefan Schäfer, Lich

 

Oh, and did we mention no clothes? The gates open at 8 pm and throughout the event, audiences learn about the Beltane, they meet the characters and get be a part of the magical and mystic.

Much to Anticipate for

Visitors to this year’s festival have so much more to look forward to with it being the 33rd anniversary of Beltane Fire Society’s celebrations.

We suggest maybe packing even fewer clothes than normal.

While a few revelers lose all inhibitions, and cloths, most dress up warmly, with a few extra layers. After all, it’s Scotland and it’s still cold.

About Beltane Fire Festival

While the events vary from year to year, it still follows the basic journey of the May Queen as she begins her journey to end winter and welcome summer.

She is accompanied by her White Women and gathering all the elements, from earth, air, fire, and water.

a ceremony before the fire at beltane fire festival

Image by: Stefan Schäfer

 

The procession of Beltane Fire Fesitval

The procession starts at the National Monument and travels anti-clockwise, around the path, meeting different groups of people along the way.

Driven by the beat of drums, the parade is urged towards summer, led by the May Queen and the Green Man, not to be mistaken with the Green Giant.

It is a sensory overload as you come face to face with the many colorful characters that are all intrinsically linked to the festival.

As part of the tradition, the procession’s destination is either hindered or helped by the different groups they meet along the way.

Extreme Theatricals

Everything about the Beltane Fire Festival is over the top and theatrical.

the dances for beltane at the beltane fire festival

Image by: Stefan Schäfer

 

From the dramatic stage performance that signifies the beginning of Summer with the May Queen and the Green Man lighting the bonfire.

Once the formalities and performances, then all  the inhibitions get shed. The lines between performers, volunteers and audiences fade away and everyone celebrates the light and promise of summer.

Beltane Fire Festival Tips

 

1* Activities For Kids

There are also activities for children and teens that won’t expose them to the more sexual side of the celebrations.

Activities include:

storytelling, face painting, and arts and crafts. They begin a week earlier on April 23, at the Royal Mile, from 1:30-4:30 pm.

2* Dress Properly

A word of advice:

While there are lots of burning fires and  naked people, it’s still Scotland, which means the temperatures can be bitterly cold.

If you happen to be one of the naked revelers you might feel Jack Frost nipping at more than just your nose. If you prefer to celebrate with your clothes, we recommend wearing something that’s not flammable

 

So Why Beltane Fire Festival?

If you do happen to be in Scotland around this time, we strongly recommend you join in the festivities.

The event is on 30th April 2019 on Calton Hill. The gates open at 8 pm and the celebrations start at sundown.

It’s all in good fun and has become an important event on their calendar, with more than 12,000 attending.

It’s important to mention the revelry can go from fair to mild, to plain wild. That is why it’s up to parents’ discretion as to whether they would like to bring their children along.

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