Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Saturday, 1 May 2010 11:41 UK

Thousands join Beltane Fire Festival spring rituals

Beltane performer and lit torches

Thousands of people turned out to watch the pagan-inspired spring rituals at the annual Beltane Fire Festival.

The participatory arts and drama event symbolises the beginning of summer and celebrates an ancient Celtic festival.

Beltane 2010, which was held on Calton Hill in Edinburgh on Friday night, featured dancing, a costumed parade, drumming and fire.

During the event the Green Man is killed as god of winter and 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.

This year dancers were joined by the Mugen Taiko Dojo drummers, who fuse Celtic traditions with the ancient Japanese spiritual practice, traditionally used to frighten away evil spirits.

Print Sponsor

In Pictures: Beltane Fire Festival
01 May 10 |  Arts and Culture
Japanese drummers join Beltane
29 Apr 10 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Behind the pomp of Beltane Festival
29 Apr 10 |  Arts and Culture
The Beltane Festival revealed
14 Oct 09 |  Arts and Culture

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific