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Beltain at Butser Ancient Farm

  • Author: Anne Cl;eaver
  • Published: 1st May 2018
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Butser Ancient Farm, near Clanfield, will host the spectacular annual Beltain Festival this Saturday, 5 May.  Tickets are selling fast so make sure you book today.

As the highlight of the Butser year, the celebration culminates in the burning of a giant 30ft Wickerman to the accompaniment of the pulsing rhythms and music of the Pentacle drummers. The Wickerman has taken months of construction in preparation for Saturday, when the design and identity of the 2018 figure will finally be revealed. Visitors will be able to write wishes for the coming year to be posted into the Wickerman before he is burned to the ground at dusk, sending their messages out into the world.


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, handmade cakes, crepes, local ales and – of course – mead! Roman, Celtic and Saxon re-enactors will bring the ancient Butser buildings to life.


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. Stand in the glow of the burning Wickerman and connect to the ancient traditions that have been celebrated for over 3000 years.  


Beltain at Butser Ancient Farm takes place on Saturday 5 May from 4.30 – 10pm. Tickets can be booked in advance through the Butser website; for £17.50 adults/ £12.50 children (under 5’s free) or purchased on the gate (cash only) for £25 adults/ £20 children (under 5’s free

More about Butser Farm here:-

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