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Festivals in Somerset

Festivals in Somerset

Festivals in Somerset don’t come any bigger than the recent, world famous Glastonbury Music Festival.  A massive 250,000 music lovers gathered at Worthy Farm and over five days and nights let their hair down and partied.  They immersed themselves in a magical atmosphere, celebrated an array of diverse music and entertainment and made many friends and created a host of very special memories along the way.

There is, however, much more to a festival than first meets the eye.

Throughout history, festivals have usually centred around communities to celebrate religion, traditions or seasons and are often marked by national holidays. (Interestingly, the UK is among the nations with the fewest public holidays in Europe. Finland has 15!) 

The word, ‘festival’ comes from the word feast, first used in the 12th century, while the Spanish  word, ‘fiesta’ is usually associated with a religious feast to honour a patron saint. (Spanish residents enjoy 14 public holidays.)

Seasonal festivals are determined by the solar and lunar calendars and by the cycle of the seasons – especially the affect on crops. This has ensured that many festivals centre around and celebrate food.

Somerset is steeped in these traditions. We love festivals in Somerset. It’s an excuse to gather and have some fun.


Beltane is a pagan festival held at the beginning of May. It  promotes abundance and is commonly associated with fertility. (Originally, couples used to frolic in the woods while the Beltaine fire raged.) Glastonbury is the place to be with colourful celebrations taking place in the market square. (Just a word of warning. Don’t frolic too much or you might get arrested…)

The Summer Solstice (celebrated just over the border at Stonehenge in Wiltshire) is world famous and attracts a real mix of people. In 2017, the longest day of the year was celebrated by around 13,000 people at Stonehenge.

Harvest Festival usually occurs around the Autumn equinox and the Harvest Moon. This is an especially important time in rural Somerset when we gather in the crops. This is also the time when the market traders of London don their wonderful Pearly King & Queen outfits and celebrate.

The Winter Solstice also attracts the crowds to Stonehenge. When the sun rises at around 8am on 21 December the shortest day in the northern hemisphere is underway. However, the burning of logs ‘ Yule’ has become better known for that lovely dessert we eat at Christmas.

Nowadays festivals come in all shapes and sizes, but the principle of gathering people, celebrating a product or skill, sharing experiences and having fun has not changed. We have many  wonderful festivals in Somerset to enjoy. Some of the coming festivals are just a short distance from The Cross.

Festivals in Somerset

Priddy Folk Festival – 7th – 9th July

Nass Festival 6th – 9th July

Godney Gathering 15th July

Burnham Beach Kite Festival 9th & 10th September

The Jane Austen Festival Bath 8th – 17th September

Wells Food Festival 8th October

Wells Festival of Literature 13th – 21st October

Bath Mozartfest 10th – 18th November

Whatever you plan to celebrate – have fun!

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