Women urged to apply for Beltane Fire Festival Green Man role

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Green Man

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Ryan Gibson

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The Green Man can be played by a man or a woman

A recruitment drive has been launched for a new Green Man for Edinburgh’s annual Beltane Fire Festival.

The role is one of the key performers at the event, which is scheduled to mark the onset of summer.

Organisers said people had previously been put off applying over fears they did not fit the role’s description.

However, the organisers said they wanted to shake up the image of the character, which could be played by a man or a woman.

Birth of summer

Thousands gather each year to watch the Celtic festival on Calton Hill.

The festival tells the story of the transition from winter to summer, which can only happen when the Green Man – an archetypal figure in folklore all over the UK – dies and is reborn again.

He does so in order to shake off the last vestiges of winter so he can join the May Queen – a mother goddess figure – as her consort.

The job advert describes the festival as a “living, dynamic reinterpretation and modernisation of an ancient Iron Age Celtic ritual, and is the largest of its kind.

“Having been resurrected as a performance art piece and practice in 1988, it has become a central focus for our community, bringing people together to acknowledge and celebrate the birth of summer and the fertility of the land.”

The job application process involves an interview, training day and open meeting with members.

It said people outside of the community were also welcome to apply.

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