Beltane in Edinburgh

Old Jan 12th, 2003, 02:55 PM
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Beltane in Edinburgh

Looking for info on the Beltane celebration on Calton Hill night of April 30- May 1. I have websites, more interested in hearing first person accounts of what to expect
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 02:36 AM
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Dr Betty went a couple of years ago. You might want to see if she can help.
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 02:20 PM
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If you go, post how it was, I'd love to hear!

Old Mar 17th, 2003, 10:15 AM
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Yes, it was a wild time... fantastic costumes and body paint, enjoyed the crush of the fun loving Scottish crowd snaking all over Calton Hill following the May Queen and her entourage. There were small fires on the hill and fire throwing dancers. It is one of the fire festivals and the whole spectacle begins with the actors assembled in the pantheon structure on top of the hill. As I recall, there were spinning fire works that shot out of it.

It is a wonderful way to herald the Spring. There are some Scottish folks, locals of Edinburgh that have never been to it and are somewhat suspicious of what it represents. For my husband and I, it was the reason to be in Edinburgh on that date so that we could participate in this ancient ritual. It was definitely one of several highlights of our trip.

Have fun and don't forget the camera. Speaking of which, Sally Fowler has a fodor website of fodorite pictures and should have some there of our trip.
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Old Mar 17th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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YUp. Great pics too!
You can get there by going to and clicking on "fodorite pictures on this site"
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Old Mar 31st, 2003, 07:03 PM
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I see from their webpage that the Beltane Fire Festival has been cancelled for trhis year:
"Beltane Fire Festival Cancelled On Calton Hill
It is with great regret that the Beltane Fire Festival will not take place on Calton Hill this year. The press release explaining the reasons for this decision follows.

Press Release from the Beltane Fire Society (BFS)
(for immediate release on March 7th, 2003)

Beltane Fire Festival extinguished by bureaucracy and spiralling costs"

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Old Mar 31st, 2003, 08:08 PM
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So Betty participated in what could be the last official Beltane festival.

I am sure that unofficial celebrations will spring up, but as a visitor these will be harder to find.
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Old Apr 1st, 2003, 07:12 PM
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What a cryin shame! I was there the year before last and splendid it was. People were very polite for such a large gathering and I remember a lady bumpin into me, spillin her beer on my shoulder, but apologizing quite profusely. And so what if they're drummin into the night...who else is there to bring in the Spring? Spose they're headed for weeks of cloudy rainy weather now. I hope they sort it out and bring it back for next year... It was truly original with a great sense of community.
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