Beltane Fire Festival - Edinburgh
the view from Calton Hill, Edinburgh
the National Monument on Calton Hill, Edinburgh
Famed for its intensity and colour, the Beltane Fire Festival attracts around 12,000 people who come to share in the spectacular procession each year. Witness the revival of an ancient Celtic fertility festival in the heart of the Scottish capital.
Calton Hill lies just east of the New Town offering wonderful views across the city of Edinburgh and several interesting monuments including Nelson’s Monument - a striking commemorative tower.
Beltane has become a much-loved feature which has been taking place on the hill since the mid 1980s. The name itself is thought to have derived from a Gaelic-Celtic word meaning ‘bright/sacred fire’ and it has always been held to mark the blossoming of spring, coinciding with the ancient pastoral tradition of moving livestock to summer grazing grounds.
Different characters are brought to life during the procession at Beltane including the May Queen who is said to embody purity, strength and the potential for growth, her consort the Green Man, her White guard and the Processional Drummers.
The four elements of nature - earth, air, fire and water - are brought together at the festival as both visitors and locals alike come together to celebrate this unique occasion.
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Edinburgh and the Lothians sits on the eastern side of Scotland's central belt, in the heart of the country.