WICKER-MAN

The Burning Question


Every year we build a Wicker-Man at Butser Ancient Farm,
and for the festival of Beltain, we burn it in a public ceremony.
The event takes place on the Saturday nearest May Eve (Beltane Eve)
Gates open to the public at 6:00pm, the Wicker-Man is fired at sunset.

On this page are photos of this, and previous years.
2000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

! Time Team Wickerman 2007 !

A Wicker-Man was used to offer sacrifices to the gods.
The victims were animals and humans.
The humans were often prisoners, taken during tribal conflict, or convicts found guilty of a crime deserving death

2000
10 meter high wicker-man

This Wicker-Man was built at Butser Ancient Farm for the celebrations on Beltain (May Day) 1st May 2000

It stood 10 metres tall, and on this occasion it was filled with wood and straw.

   
It all ends in Flames!
Click for larger graphic
   
2002

This Wicker-Man was built at Butser Ancient Farm for the celebrations on Beltain (May Day) 1st May 2002

A very artistic Wickerman this year!

   
But it all ends up the same.
   
2003

This Wicker-Man was built at Butser Ancient Farm for the celebrations on Beltain (May Day) 1st May 2003

This one tried to leave when it saw the fire.

   

It got held down and set fire to regardless

2004

This Wicker-Man was built at Butser Ancient Farm for the celebrations on Beltain (May Day) 1st May 2004

We thought he looked a bit like Tree-Beard this year.

1000 people turned up to watch this one burn!

2005

This Wicker-Man was built at Butser Ancient Farm for the celebrations on Beltain (May Day) 1st May 2005

Well, for good or bad, here he is!

35ft tall, and in the last stages of decoration. We have covered him in greenery this year, so he looks more like a Yeti.

Visitor numbers could be a record, we are catering for up to 1500!

It help with the Saturday night being the eve of Beltane, the calendar was kind to us this year.

   

We had to tie him down once finished.

He tried to step on us if we got too close.

We decided in the end, he looked like a troll this year.

   

The weather held, and by sundown the site was packed with an expectant crowd of 1350!

The honour of setting fire to him went to a lovely lady, who won the right in a raffle!

The green covering resulted in a fantastic flare, but showered everyone in hot ashes for a while.

2006

This Wicker-Man was built at Butser Ancient Farm for the celebrations on Beltain (May Day) 1st May 2006

It has been a lean winter over 2005-2006.
Very little rain, darkest winter (no sun) for many years.
A very late spring, with the trees having problems putting out new leaves through lack of water.

So, the man this year is a lean young warrior to reflect that.

 

 

A treat this year! A short video clip of the burning.

2007

This Wicker-Man was built at Butser Ancient Farm for the celebrations of Beltain (5th May 2007)

This year has seen a change in management at Butser Ancient Farm, and we wish them 'Good Luck'

So, the man this year is an older, experienced warrior, who will watch and protect the team whilst they find their feet..

   
This video clip of the burning has been very kindly given to me for use on the web, as I was too busy at the time to take one of my own. In spite of the wobbles, it conveys a real sense of being there.

2008

Well, off we go on the next adventure!
2008 wickerman is underway.
This is the base frame, and on a guess it will be another 30ft plus.

Burning takes place on Saturday, May 3rd

See the Butser Website for details

 

If you want to find out more about Butser Ancient Farm click here

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