Beltane Fire Festival

Beltane Fire Festival

Photograph: Ove Hansen

What’s that coming over Calton Hill? Yes, it’s the annual Beltane Fire Festival, complete with fire, frolics and lashings of body paint. Celebrating the beginning of the summer season, the unique festival draws inspiration from ancient Gaelic traditions and the age-old Beltane festival. Look out for the variety of characters on show, like the magisterial May Queen and the red men, who give the event a wholly otherworldly feel. Once their story is played out, a bonfire is lit and the dancing commences, gleefully ensuring a mass celebration of the death of spring and the birth of summer.

Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Thu 30 Apr. www.beltane.org

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