Alun’s first BFS event was Samhuinn 2009. Since then he has operated giant puppets, been Elemental and Red, organised groups and served on the Board of Trustees. In our final What Makes Beltane Special? article, he talks about transformation, community and joy.
Beltane is multi-facetted order and chaos that transforms the people who partake in it. My favourite thing about it as an event is that it is impossible for anyone to see every part of it so everyone’s experience of the festival will be different. I had been a regular attendee since 2005 but I hadn’t appreciated the sheer amount of prep work that went into it all before I took part. I also didn’t understand that behind the festival is a huge community of people that persists year-round. I don’t think I’ve taken part in anything else that is quite so immersive or sustained. It makes you engage fully and commit fully to the moment.
My favourite Beltane memory is of running down a slope towards a beautiful procession with a hoard of fellow Reds waving fire above my head. I remember really clearly, half-way through the night when I came back to myself. I had this moment of hilarious clarity; running along with fire on a stick, painted red, up a hill and laughing maniacally. It was sheer bubbling joy.
Want to come to Beltane Fire Festival 2016 on 30th April? Book your ticket HERE.
Photo of Alun at Beltane 2015 by Neil Barton