Edinburgh's Beltane Fire Festival welcomes May Day with ancient ritual
The Beltane Fire Festival on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill welcomed May Day and the coming of summer, with a dramatic mix of fire ceremonies, ancient fertility rites, and ritual drumming.
Thousands of revellers have gathered on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill as the Beltane Fire Festival marked the coming of summer with a spectacular celebration in Scotland’s capital.
Over 300 performers united to create a carnival of fire and light featuring dramatic fire sculptures, with performers roaming the hill amongst the crowds. As darkness fell, a blaze of fire welcomed the May Queen, before she took her place at the head of a procession around the iconic city centre site.
The Festival was inspired by the Scottish and Irish Gaelic pre-Christian Beltane festival which was held to mark and celebrate the blossoming of summer.
The revived festival is celebrating is 25th anniversary this year.