Adult sex dating in petersfield hampshire
And, of course, the high point of the night – the burning of a specially built, 30ft-high Wicker Man, stuffed with scraps of paper on which we had written our hopes for the coming year.
A large crowd, children perched on shoulders, pressed closer into the insistent heat for a better view as leaping flames licked the man’s torso and consumed his legs. Afterwards, we all trooped home through a wet field, oddly elated.
Other rites included extinguishing the home’s hearth fire (normally kept ever lit) on April 30, and then relighting it on May 1st from the central village bonfire.
Young couples might choose to become handfast on this day, 'tieing the knot’ using a ribbon woven around their joint hands as they pledged themselves to each other for a year and a day.
Events have sprung up from Devon to Peebles, Cardiff to Ireland (where the festival is connected to the legends of Tara).
It was so much more than that: dancing women in woad, waving antlers to ancient gods of fertility.
Children wearing self-woven blossom and wicker May coronets roaming among picnickers.
“His aim was to re-establish seasonal community celebrations,” says Matthew Richardson, Chair of Beltane Fire Society, the charity which runs the event, who first came to Belante 14 years ago when he was a student at the University of Edinburgh.
“When it started in 1987 Beltane was very small – just four performers and an audience of 30 or 50.
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Last year, with friends and family, in a sloping field just off the busy A3 from London to Portsmouth, I experienced my first Beltain (more widely known as Beltane) – the ancient festival which marks the end of winter and the start of summer.