Butser Ancient Farm - Beltain Festival
Posted: 8th March 2019
The team at Butser Ancient Farm, near Petersfield in Hampshire, are already gearing up to welcome in the summer months with their spectacular annual Beltain Festival on Saturday 4th May. The construction of the Wickerman has now begun, with the 30ft framework standing proud as it looks out across the ancient buildings of the farm.
Over the next two months the figure will take shape; the work of woodsmen, artists and volunteers who will transform wicker, wood and rope into a giant Wickerman. The final form of the structure will only be revealed on the night of the festival, when thousands of festival goers will gather to celebrate, the event culminating in the burning of the Wickerman to the accompaniment of the pulsing rhythms and music of the Pentacle drummers.
Beltain is one of four great festivals of the Celtic year and was celebrated in anticipation of the coming summer. It was traditionally seen as a festival of fire and light with the lighting of fires believed to help strengthen the sun for the first day of summer. Modern May-day celebrations, with the traditions of Morris Dancers and May-poles, still trace their roots back to this ancient Celtic festival.
At Butser’s Beltain, leading up to the burn, festival-goers can expect to be enthralled with displays of ancient crafts, fighting, cooking, dancing, singing and music. There will be a range of tasty food and drink with a hog roast, BBQ, vegan dhal, handmade cakes, crepes, local ales and – of course – mead! Stone Age, Celtic, Roman and Saxon re-enactors will bring the ancient buildings to life.
Beltain at Butser Ancient Farm takes place on Saturday 4th May 2019 from 4.30 – 10pm. Early bird tickets (available until April 1st) can be booked through the Butser website for £20 Adults/ £15 children (under 3’s free). After this date prices will go up to £28 adults/ £23 children (under 3’s free). http://www.butserancientfarm.co.uk/beltain-festival/ .