Beltane celebration is relevant for urban living, claims expert

The celebration of the ancient rural festival of Beltane is relevant for urban residents too, an expert has claimed.

Speaking to, independent researcher and anthropologist Pauline Bambry described how the festival is all about community, with everyone involved able to feel like “we are all in it together”.

The celebrations tend to begin on April 30th, but the festival strictly speaking begins on the first day of May, so function venues may have been booked out for either of these two days.

Ms Bambry noted that Beltane has traditionally been a time for couples to celebrate their love, symbolic outdoor rituals and other ceremonies, but it is essentially a day to mark the end of isolation.

She said: “Beltane is rural pre-Christian prehistoric tradition which saw communities come together after long winters of isolation. It marked their connection not just to nature but to each other. That need to belong to something or someone has not changed.”

According to reporter Julia Rampen, Edinburgh’s Beltane Festival is the most “exuberant” examples of the festival, involving dancing, drumming, fire and the crowning of the Beltane Queen.

Ms Rampen noted that other customs traditionally associated with the day are the collection of blossoms and the burning of juniper branches.