A BORDERS festival has shared its face painting policy ahead of its annual fancy dress parade.

In 2020, following calls from the public to end the use of face paint and make-up to 'darken' skin for the Beltane fancy dress and Red Letter Day parade, the Peebles Beltane Committee confirmed that "ethnic make-up" would no longer be permitted at the festival.

Now, ahead of tonight's fancy dress (Friday, June 23) the committee has clarified its rules on the use of face paint and make-up following confusion over wording used in its programme and time table.

Sharing to social media, a spokesperson for the Beltane Festival said: "The programme provides guidance on the use of makeup for the Friday Night Fancy Dress and the Saturday Grand Parade on numerous pages.

"On the time table however for Friday the programme states 'No Face Painting Permitted'.

"For clarity this is in regards to changing ethnic appearance as the more detailed notices outline."

The spokesperson added: "Peebles Beltane Festival is an inclusive festival and we will not tolerate any use of makeup or face paint to blacken faces or change ethnic appearance.

"Face paint can be used to depict animals or characters that will enhance your costume.

"They should not however be used to mimic another ethnicity or colour."

Although the post on Facebook received 71 'likes', and supportive comments thanking the Beltane committee for adopting an inclusive policy, some commenters believe the move to ban blackface and cultural appropriation indicated "sad times".

One person wrote: "Never thought I’d see the day when all this is happening ,sad times indeed."

A reply, in support of the policy read: "Why is it sad to discourage racist stereotypes?

"Blackface is an embarrassing anachronism."

In 2020 activists in Peebles raised concerns over the use of face paint and make-up to darken people's complexions during the Beltane Festival.

At that time the Beltane committee said it would review its equality policies, but advised that changes would take time as they could not “happen overnight”.