Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:03 UK

Japanese drummers join Beltane fire festival

The May Queen at the Beltane Festival
The May Queen is admired at the Beltane Festival

Japanese Taiko drummers are to join this year's spring rituals at the annual Beltane Festival in Edinburgh.

Mugen Taiko Dojo fuses the ancient Japanese spiritual practice, traditionally used to frighten away evil spirits, with Celtic traditions.

Beltane 2010, which is held on Calton Hill, is expected to be a sell-out as the party falls on Friday night.

A crowd of 12,000 people is expected to watch the pagan-inspired spring ritual, which starts at 2130 BST.

'Unique collaboration'

Rob Sproul-Cran, Beltane Festival producer, said: "It may seem worlds apart, but Beltane is all about a modern telling of an ancient tradition - the Mugen Taiko Dojo is exactly the same.

"We're very excited that they will be performing at this year's Beltane. This unique collaboration was too good to miss."

During the event the Green Man is killed off as the horned god of winter and is reborn as spring to consort with the May Queen.

All the fires are put out and re-lit using a fire made from a piece of wood from last year's festival.

There is dancing, costume, drumming and fire during the event which finishes at 0030 BST on Saturday.

Tickets for Beltane cost £6 in advance from The Forest in Bristo Square and Ripping Records on South Bridge and are £8 on the night.

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