Chaos before and the Beltane fire Festival!
Edinburgh Travel Blog› entry 31 of 40 › view all entries
April 30th, 2010 – by: signedcutie
Once everyone was dropped off at the airport and 2 different hostels, some of us made a plan to meet again at the Beltane Festival. Now originally I had never planned, nor probably would have none about the Beltane Festival that was going on that night in Calton Hill. Luckily, I started chatting with wonderlustdave from this site before going, and he informed me of the event. I quickly got ready and made my way up to Calton Hill to meet wonderlustdave, manowce and a group of people they had met over the previous few days.
The Beltane Festival is a festival that normally is held on the first day of May. Thinking back now, the festival was actually held on April 30, but I guess they are considering the night's celebration as well. Historically, this festival is a Gaelic festival and was practice both by the Scott's and Irish people and represents the halfway mark between spring and summer or in other words, spring equinox and summer solstice. The people would light these great bonfires to signify purification and a sign of transition of the summer. It was also performed to bring luck harvesting and breading of animals. It was also thought that the ritual provided safety to the people from "unworldly" spirits. The animals were herded between or through the fires because it was thought that the smoke/fire purified them.
Overall, this was definitely one of the more interesting festivals that I have been to at this current date. There was a great vibe all around the festival and everyone was having a great time. It was amazing how wild and free individuals were, or perhaps it had a little bit to do with liquid courage as well. And yes I did say liquid courage. There was no alcohol sold at the festival; however, individuals were aloud to BYOB (bring your own booze) as long as it was in a plastic container.
One of the downsides of the event was that because of the mass amount of people around each performance, it was very difficult to be able to see anything.
The ending ceremony was absolutely crazy good! They had a drum performance by what I assumed was from a martial arts organization. Overall, I really enjoyed going to this festival, I am not sure if I will ever make it back to see one again; however, I will always remember that night! I had a great time and was lucky to meet some incredibly great people that night.
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