Sunday, 5 May 2013

Beltaine at Butser

Firstly an apology for the picture quality. I decided to travel light with just the Sony Cybershot but it went flat on me and we had to resort to the mobile phone camera. That'll teach me!

Anyway  - not much to say so on with the pictures

Plenty of live music to get the visitors dancing. "Reckless" were playing when this was taken.

The venue is the reconstructed Iron Age village and this was a display of some of the plants and spices available then*

* I've been subsequently told that this is actually a display of Anglo Saxon medicines - sorry Pamela!

Some demonstrations of traditional crafts. This one was flint knapping. Flint is all over the hillside so he had plenty of raw material to work with. He was making some lovely spear and arrow heads.

A traditional besom broom maker - although he was using wire to wrap rather than the traditional willow withies. Lots of children were channelling their inner Harry Potter and he was doing a roaring trade in child sized brooms - he sold a fair few adult sized ones too and sold out of his supply of staffs very quickly.

 A view of some of the iron age buildings.
 An interior shot. Most of the buildings were in use and had a central wood fire. There was nowhere for the smoke to escape so the occupants must have been pretty well kippered. My eyes were streaming very quickly in some of the smaller huts.

As well as the live bands we had Mummers to entertain us...

Butser is known for its burning of the wicker man - so here he is. All that is missing is Edward Woodward or we could be on Summerisle.

A close up of his head - not quite sure what the parasol is all about though.

Wishes could be written on pieces of paper and tied to the wicker man to be carried up with the flames.

He was stuffed with straw to help him burn - you can see some of it here.

 As the light was beginning to fail the dancing really got started. Helped I'm sure by the real ale and cider tent!

And the moment we'd all waited for.  The raffle was drawn and the winner was allowed to light the sacrificial man. Here the blaze is just starting to get hold of his legs.

Now fully ablaze - you can almost see all those wishes being released!

I think a great evening was had by all.
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