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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 07:42 GMT 08:42 UK
In Pictures: Beltane Fire Festival

Beltane fire festival (picture by Tom Bishop, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

The annual Beltane Fire Festival has taken place in Edinburgh

Beltane fire festival (Picture by Graham Butler, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

About 12,000 people attended the colourful spectacle on Calton Hill in the Scottish capital

Beltane fire festival (Picture by Adam Bramley, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

The procession is renowned for its intensity and colour

Beltane fire festival (picture by Ove Hansen, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

The event has become a much-loved feature of the Edinburgh calendar since it was first organised in the mid 1980s

Beltane fire festival (Picture by Nedina O'Brien, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

The popular event's origins can be found in the pre-Christian festival of the same name

Beltane fire festival (picture by Ramsay McIver, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

Beltane took place to mark and celebrate the blossoming of spring

Beltane fire festival (picture by Tom Bishop, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

The spirits of chaos and disorder, the Red Men, try to disrupt the procession with lewd and lascivious behaviour

Beltane fire festival (picture by Ove Hansen, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

The procession is led by the May Queen and her entourage - four handmaidens and a cohort of white warrior women

Beltane fire festival (picture by Stuart Barrett, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

The festivities included the lighting of a bonfire on Calton Hill

Beltane fire festival (picture by John Robert Peterson, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

The Blue Man has come to act as the elder of the event

Beltane fire festival (picture by Tom Bishop, Photopoint, Beltane Fire Society)

Hundreds of people perform and take part in the festival




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