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Donations from BOnFire given to green charities

Donations from BOnFire given to green charities

Let us begin by saying an enormous thank you to everyone who donated to BOnFire (Beltane Online Fire Festival) back in April.  We raised an incredible £2,000 across the evening, which will be a big help when we start to bring our festivals back to Edinburgh in-person.

Your generous donations have also meant that we could follow through on our pledge to spend some money on healing our planet. Climate change has not gone away, and we intend to do our bit to keep pushing for a greener future. As promised, we have now gifted 10% of the money raised at BOnFire to two deserving environmental charities – both this time with a harvest focus!  We want to ensure our charity is not just for the now, but can continue for many years to come, and part of that is paying back for some of the carbon our fires release into the atmosphere.

BUMBLEBEE CONSERVATION TRUST – £100

Pollination is vital for many of the nation’s wild and garden plants, and provides animals with a source of food and shelter. Without bumblebees we would have less colour; less beauty; less healthy and nutritious food. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust are working hard to create and restore habitats and to encourage bee-friendly gardening that our wild pollinators need to survive.

£16 buys 100g of wildflower seeds to create around 15m2 of wildlife habitats – about the size of an average living room.

£64 buys 400g of wildflower seeds to create 100m2 of wildlife habitats – about the size of a rugby pitch.

£75 helps towards the production of land management factsheets to assist landowners in improving land for our pollinators.

£100 pays for a bumblebee presentation and activity session at a primary school.

LEITH COMMUNITY CROPS IN POTS – £100

Set up to encourage and support the people and organisations of Leith to grow food vegetables and flowers for bees in urban spaces, in order to improve health and wellbeing, community cohesion and the environment. While their main long-term focus is on promoting the multiple benefits of healthy nutrition and engagement with nature, and using food-growing for this as well as to build community, Leith Community Crops in Pots are also very much concerned with addressing disadvantage, and with developing a replicable ‘urban croft’ model for others to follow.

They currently run environment-, food- and wellbeing-related workshops online, as well as an emergency feeding scheme engaging over 130 people as recipients, as freelancers (people who might otherwise be out of work due to the lockdown) and as volunteers. Some grow vegetables in a market garden, some cook meals, and many deliver meals using a fleet of cargo bikes.

Featured image by Andrzej Suchodolski for Beltane Fire Society. All rights reserved.

BOnFire Festival 2020

BOnFire Festival 2020

Last month we had to cancel our physical festival due to COVID-19.  However in it's place we have devised a fun new virtual thing that we’re trying out.  On the night of Beltane (30th April), we’re inviting our international community to sit with us around a virtual BOnFire, the Beltane Online Fire Festival, hosted right on our website and social media platforms.

Even though the cancellation of our usual festival was the right thing to do, we were heartbroken to see the coronavirus pandemic halt our ritual celebration and the preparations for it.  This is only the second time in our 32 history that our festival hasn’t been able to take place on Calton Hill, and of course people were marking Beltane for thousands of years before us. 

Our world feels like it is at a standstill, but the wheel keeps on turning. Summer will arrive soon.  The sun is shining higher in the sky and the flowers are beginning to open.  Our festival as we know it may not be able to go ahead, but the Celtic holiday and the reasons to mark it endure.

We’ve put our heads together to come up with a way to keep connecting us all even while we’re practicing self isolation. On Thursday 30 April between 7PM and 10.30PM, we will publish a mass amount of content created for you by our volunteers to evoke different parts of the Beltane story, and we’d love you to join us to experience it live and in the moment online.

This isn’t a live stream – not on its own anyway. We know that our volunteers have a wide variety of talents and interests, and thought this would be a great way to explore them all. We’ll be sharing video, music, visual art, poetry, photography, and a little bit of character work throughout the evening, which will all be collected together here in its multimedia glory on our website.

The night will be broken up into a series of chapters, or time slots, during which we will share creations from our volunteers that resonate with a particular point in Beltane Fire Festival’s narrative.  We have listed the night’s schedule at the bottom of this post.

You’ll be able to join us on our website, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Not all of the content that we create can be shared on every platform, so we recommend catching what you can on your social media of choice and then diving into everything here on our website, where the whole festival will be collected and available to browse afterwards.

It’s completely free to access our online festival.  All you need is an internet connection and access to social media or this website.  What we are asking though, if you are able, is for a small donation in lieu of a ticket.  We, like so many, have been hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic.  While we are fortunate to have some reserves that will help us survive, any donations big and small will go a long way to helping us bring our festivals back after this crisis. We are a not-for-profit charity that receives no public money, and almost all the funds that keep our community going come from ticket sales. We are also pledging to send 10% of the donations received, up to a total £1,000, to environmental charities. 

People can donate via Citizen Ticket by purchasing a “pay what you can” ticket at https://www.citizenticket.co.uk/events/beltane-fire-society/bonfire-beltane-online-fire-festival/ or through the other ways listed on our website.

This is a completely new arena for us – our festivals have often delved into the mortal and the spiritual realms, but never the virtual – but we hope that you’ll come with us on this new digital adventure. In the world that we live in, it’s never been more important to celebrate the stories and rituals that bring us together.

BONFIRE FESTIVAL PROGRAMME

19:00 – 19:15 Welcome to Beltane

19:15 – 19:30 The Horn Sounds and The Journey Through the Veil

19:30 – 19:45 May Queen & Green Man’s Journey

19:45 – 20:00 Air

20:00 – 20:15 Earth

20:15 – 20:30 Chaos Awakens – The Red Family

20:30 – 20:45 Water

20:45 – 21:00 Fire

21:00 – 21:15 The May Queen Chooses Her Consort

21:15 – 21:30 The Bonfire

21:30 – 21:45 The Bower

21:45 – 22:00 The Toast

Featured image by Asier Goikoetxea for Beltane Fire Society. All rights reserved.