Visiting the Beltane Fire Festival 2024

The Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh

If you find yourself in Edinburgh on 30th April, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d taken a step back in time. By a good couple of centuries, at least! Because this is the night when thousands of spectators make their way to the top of the iconic Calton Hill to welcome in the summer. It’s the Beltane Fire Festival, an ancient Celtic ritual that has been re-invented in modern-day Edinburgh. And it’s a sight not to be missed.

History of the Beltane

In years gone by, people celebrated the changing of the seasons with rituals which promoted a warm and prosperous summer. Beltane, meaning ‘bright light’, used fire to represent the burning sun and took place on the last evening before May Day. A mainly Celtic festival, it died out in the late 1800s. But university researchers brought it back. And now, over 30 years later, the new and modern version sees supporters ascend Calton Hill in their droves to watch hundreds of performers. They use music, light shows and the ever-popular fire displays to keep the history of the Beltane Fire Festival alive.

Silhouette of man in front of bonfire
Images provided by: Beltane Fire Society

Beltane Fire Festival 2024

This year, the Beltane Fire Festival takes place on the night of Tuesday 30th April 2024, from 8 pm to 1 am. Marvel at the different groups of performers and watch them interact with each other as they set the scene for the evening. See the May Queen rise from the earth and parade with her guardians around the Acropolis. Watch the rebirth of the Green Man, symbolising new life. And see them ignite the bonfire together, surrounded by drummers, faeries and woodland folk.

May Queen procession at the Beltane Fire Festival Edinburgh
Images provided by: Beltane Fire Society

Book your Beltane Fire Festival break

Tickets for the Beltane are on sale now. You can also buy tickets on the night, subject to availability. Entry is via the gate on Waterloo Place. The event will be open from 8 pm to 1 am, Tuesday 30th April 2024. (Please bear in mind that the festival is aimed at over 18s).

At Parliament House Hotel we are the perfect choice for your Beltane Fire Festival accommodation. We are located at the foot of Calton Hill, just around the corner from where the event takes place. So, you can walk to the festival in around five minutes. And we have a fantastic Spring Offer for you to take advantage of!