Edinburgh Today

Beltane Fire Festival


Calton Hill

30 April 2005

The Beltane Festival celebrates the beginning of the summer in the Celtic calendar.  It consists of processions around the hill between points described as "Fire", "Air", "Earth" and "Water".

It is held on Calton Hill, close to the East End of Princes Street, on the last day of April.  The 2005 event had more than 100 drummers and dancers.  There was a fire-lit procession around the hill led by the May Queen and her Warrior Women.

8,500 tickets were sold for the event, which was good natured with no trouble reported amongst the revellers.

[Edinburgh Evening News  18 February 2004, p.4]

Arthur's Seat

1 May 2005

Many of the revellers from the Beltane Festival moved on to spend the night on Arthur's Seat, the 823ft high extinct volcano in the centre of nearby Holyrood Park.

There has long been a tradition of young women climbing Arthur's Seat before dawn on 1st May to bathe their faces in the early morning dew - the  'holy water' of the Druids - to preserve their health and beauty for the next year.


Beltane Fire Festival

Photos 2006

Beltane Fire Festival


Calton Hill Today