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Peebles Beltane Festival

One of our biggest events here in Peebles is almost upon us – The Beltane Festival!

It’s a major week in the calendar for the community of Peebles and a rather unique experience for those fortunate visitors who’ve timed their trip during the celebrations. The weird and wonderful week of festivities celebrates the return of Scottish summer through local legend, history and tradition.

The Beltane Festival was originally a day where people of Peebles would take to the streets, marking the return of summer by burning their winter bedding. Almost 120 years on, it maintains its traditional ceremonies with the Riding of the Marches and crowning of the Beltane Queen… (although these days – people tend keep a hold of their bed sheets!)

The town will be transformed by flags, bunting and huge hardboard coloured cut-outs. Locals enter into the spirit of Beltane, with prizes awarded to the best decorated houses and shops, and by dressing up in costumes which would only be considered the norm during this jubilant week…

Excited adults and children line the streets to cheer on the procession, all trying to catch sight of the new Beltane Queen.

Back in 2001, the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, and the restrictions put upon the movement of livestock and horses, meant that the Riding of the Marches ceremony would be impossible. The Cornet called on the people of Peebles to get on their bikes in place of the horse ridden procession and around 1000 cyclists turned out to follow The Cornet and ensure that the festival retained its usual atmosphere. So, long story short – Peebles loves the Beltane (and we think you will too!)

The festival will be on from 19th-26th June and really is a must see

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