The history behind one of the UK’s hottest festivals has been laid bare.

And it was ironically cold winter nights that acted as catalyst to the first ever Imbolc festival, which began in 1993 in Marsden.

“We wanted to put on an event in the cold winter time when people can feel down”, said Angie Boycott-Garnett, Imbolc organiser.

“The idea came from a group of us who were part of the now defunct Kirklees Countryside Volunteers and put on a lot of events together.

“Duggs Carre came up with the idea for the Imbolc festival.

“He’d heard about the celebration, which takes place in-between two of the eight periods of the Pagan calendar year.

“Imbolc celebrates the end of winter and the first stirrings of spring, while encouraging the idea of regrowth and renewal.”

Angie talked about how they set up their first event.

“We thought it would be good to bring people together.

“The first was quite small and revolved around a walk through the woods near Stannedge Tunnel, where entertainers would be performing.

“We had things like fire sculptures, fire dancers and eaters.

“We originally thought it would be a one off but the event was very successful.

“So we decided to run it again but we wanted to make sure that the community involved to keep it going.”

The festival, which ran yearly until 2014 when it became biennial, has undergone noticeable changes since then.

It now features a procession from the Old Goods Yard to Tunnel End, where fire performances and a mummers’ play about a battle to overcome the winter take place.

“We established mask and lantern making festivals in both schools and for the public.

“It got too big for the woods so we decided to end the night on a then new embankment that had been dug at Tunnel End, which is where our big celebration is still held.

“We began to get people not just from Marsden but from all over the country, who come for different reasons.”

Angie took over the running 15 years ago.

“I continued to be involved in the community engagement side too because my main aim for it is to make sure people are having fun.

“There are some things we can never plan for, namely the weather.

“But we do everything we can to allow the event to go ahead.

“One year we had really bad snow so a group went out with buckets and spades and created snow castles which they put lights in for people on the walk– it was great.”

READ MORE: Where does the Imbolc fire festival parade begin?

READ MORE: Imbolc 2016: Fantastic pictures from previous years to get you in the mood

Fundraising enables Imbolc to continue to run.

“It costs in between £6,000 to 7,000 to put on.

We got some funding from the council and applied for various art grants.

“But it got harder to get funding so it’s just the Cuckoos’ Nest that gives us money regularly now.

“The rest we raise ourselves by hosting live music nights, raffled and selling calendars.