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UK: Beltane fire festival sets Edinburgh ablaze01:08

UK: Beltane fire festival sets Edinburgh ablaze

United Kingdom, Edinburgh
May 1, 2013 at 20:54 GMT +00:00 · Published

UK: Beltane fire festival sets Edinburgh ablaze

Nude figures and fire-twirling performers joined thousands celebrating the pagan festival of Beltane in Edinburgh on Tuesday. Drummers beat out ritualistic rhythms to welcome the coming spring, with body-painted performers dazzling the crowd on top of the city's central Calton Hill with fire-juggling and theatre.

Led by mythical characters the May Queen and Green Man, the awe-inspiring procession swept through the twilight for around three hours. The festival symbolises the arrival of summer, with the symbolic pairing of the May Queen and the Green Man bringing life to the land.

Beltane dates back to 9th century, the name coming from the Celtic God 'Bel', meaning 'the bright one' and the Gaelic word 'teine' meaning fire. Seasonal changes have historically been a matter of life and death for the Celtic people of Europe, with the Beltane Fire Festival re-emerging in 1988 to kickstart the tradition back into force.

While the Beltane Festival draws on a variety of historical, mythological and literary influences, the organisers point out that it holds little modern religious significance.

UK: Beltane fire festival sets Edinburgh ablaze01:08
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UK: Beltane fire festival sets Edinburgh ablaze

Nude figures and fire-twirling performers joined thousands celebrating the pagan festival of Beltane in Edinburgh on Tuesday. Drummers beat out ritualistic rhythms to welcome the coming spring, with body-painted performers dazzling the crowd on top of the city's central Calton Hill with fire-juggling and theatre.

Led by mythical characters the May Queen and Green Man, the awe-inspiring procession swept through the twilight for around three hours. The festival symbolises the arrival of summer, with the symbolic pairing of the May Queen and the Green Man bringing life to the land.

Beltane dates back to 9th century, the name coming from the Celtic God 'Bel', meaning 'the bright one' and the Gaelic word 'teine' meaning fire. Seasonal changes have historically been a matter of life and death for the Celtic people of Europe, with the Beltane Fire Festival re-emerging in 1988 to kickstart the tradition back into force.

While the Beltane Festival draws on a variety of historical, mythological and literary influences, the organisers point out that it holds little modern religious significance.

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