By Alena Skodova.
At the end of April a festival of Celtic culture will be held in the Czech Republic, organized by the Brotherhood of Celts Association, which was founded five years ago. Alena Skodova spoke with the brotherhood's chairman, Tomas Krivanek.
"Beltine is an old, pre-Christian holiday by which our predecessors some 2000 years ago celebrated the coming of the warm, sunny season. It used to be a very merry holiday with beer drinking, roasting pigs and other animals, and huge bonfires - something like today's good bye to winter and welcome spring holiday that we celebrate at the end of April called "witch burning". The Beltine festival in the Czech Republic at present is a migrating holiday, and is being organized for the 7th time, alternating between Bohemia and Moravia."
Mr. Krivanek said that there will be more than 150 performers at this year's Beltine festival which will feature horse riding, archery, dancing and music. Visitors will see for instance the Petronila ensemble, which is considered the best Irish dance group outside of Ireland. But the greatest attraction will undoubtedly be the Luarna Lubre group from Galicia in Spain - a world famous Celtic music band that often plays with Mike Oldfield both at concerts and in the recording studio.
This year's Beltine will take place in Moravia, in the village of Nesovice near Brno, and I asked Mr. Krivanek why did the organizers choose this location?
"Nesovice are an extremely interesting place because there's a chateau there - pure Italian Renaissance in the middle of Moravia - secondly, this chateau has never been open to the public and it is likely to fall into private hands so there won't be any chance to see it in the future. And last but not least the Nesovice mayor welcomes us with open arms - the Beltine festival can only take place in a location whose representatives show understanding for such a venture."
Experience from the previous years show that there are usually some 2000 people taking part in the Beltine holiday celebrations. In truth, the organizers don't really want the numbers to exceed several thousand people because it wouldn't be like the family venture that they want it to be.
The Beltine Celtic festival will take place on April 30th and May 1st, so if Celtic culture is your cup of tea, don't hesitate to join other revelers on their way to Nesovice. It should be worth it.
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