It might not have been quite the weather we were hoping for, but the 2022 Beltane procession through the Town and gathering around the May Pole were a fantastic visual spectacle. There were green men, goddesses, a dragon, druids, lots of umbrellas, stilt-walkers, banner bearers, kids on shoulders, staffs and beards and dreadlocks, Vikings, fauns and fairies. The crowds gathered, horns were blown and drums beaten in a great cacophony of sound and colour.
There was a huge amount going on throughout the day but due to some over-enthusiastic Beltane eve celebrating in the King Arthur (and my lack of enthusiasm for getting up at 4am when it’s raining) I missed sunrise on the Tor and the Chalice Well celebrations. I made it into town at lunchtime to find a crowd gathered at the market cross. I couldn’t see much and a Channel 4 film crew were dominating the scene with microphones on huge boom arms and a rather damp looking camerawoman. I headed around the corner to where the Dragon Drummers and the Viking Horde were mustering, ready to join the procession as it headed up the High Street.
I followed the procession to the top of the High Street, popped home for a cup of tea and a sandwich, then headed up to Bushy Coombe for the raising of the maypole. Again, I couldn’t see the ceremony (I don’t know why we can’t make the circle bigger so that everyone can see what is going on!) but it meant I couldn’t get roped into dancing and there were plenty of people to chat to and photograph on the periphery. It was great to see old friends for the first time in years. People were clearly delighted to be gathering in large numbers again.
If you weren’t able to be there and you want to see some of the events of the day from the perspective of a short woman who has forgotten to arrange a decent vantage point to film from so is walking backwards with her phone trying to capture things without stepping on anyone’s feet, here’s my video:
My Photos of the Day
Video and photographs copyright Vicki Steward of Normal For Glastonbury
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