If you’re looking for something a little different to kick-start your bank holiday weekend, you might be interested in heading to Edinburgh this Friday when the Beltane Fire Festival descends once again on the Scottish capital.
With fantastic fire displays, ritual marches and tribal music celebrating the passing of winter, the Beltane festival is an experience I’d wholeheartedly recommend for newcomers – whether you’re keen to embrace the spiritual side of things, or – like me – you just love hanging outdoors with friends and soaking up the lively atmosphere.
Those witnessing the festival for the first time might also be pleasantly surprised by how the liberal the event is, but despite the ritual dances and semi-nudity, Beltane has a very friendly and electric atmosphere that’s well-policed to make sure the only revellers in attendance are those interested in having a good time. Those who are critical of the festival’s pagan origins also need to relax, as even the organisers themselves – who run the fire festival as a voluntary event – claim it’s nothing more than ‘a modern celebration of Beltane’ – with no Wicker Man in sight!
Taking place from late evening on Friday 30th April into the early hours of May 1st, the festival is well-loved by its many regular participants, and newcomers will feel right at home too. With dazzling fire displays set against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh’s Calton Hill, the Beltane Fire Festival is a real sight to behold, carried out by dedicated performers who really throw themselves into the parts – whether that means fiery red men or the May Queen and Green Man themselves, who close the proceedings.
Edinburgh has long been one of my favourite cities, so I’ll jump on any excuse to visit, and the trip up for Beltane is always a must – though I might not go all the way and paint myself blue this time around!
If you haven’t made your plans for the long weekend yet, check out our May bank holiday breaks to find new ideas and great deals on hotels and attractions across the UK. And don’t forget to use the voucher code DV000149MPMLADMS to save £25 when you book your super break online!