The people of Edinburgh gather each year to celebrate the changing of the seasons with the Beltane Fire Festival. Beltane means “bright fire”. Historically, the villages around Scotland built a bonfire on May 1st to celebrate the lengthening of the days. The locals would then gather around the bonfire to dance and welcome the arrival of summer. During the 1800’s the event was slowly disappearing as a celebration in the villages and with the arrival of the 20th century, this Scottish tradition was fading from memory and was no longer celebrated in Edinburgh. So in 1988, Angus Farquhar, choreographer Lindsay John and a folklorist Margaret Bennett of Edinburgh University’s School of Scottish Studies decided to revitalize an ancient Scottish tradition.
The festival began as a small celebration of a few hundred people but today several thousand gather on Calton Hill. The event is no longer free but not terribly expensive.
General Advance Sales – £7.50 + booking fee
From 27th April – £10 + booking fee
Door Sales (on the night) – £10.50 + booking fee (£11) Calton
The event is more of a performance rather than a staged event. The performers and audience mix and mingle creating a unique experience.
For more information about attending contact the Beltane Fire Society