Counterbalancing our sister event on Calton Hill, Beltane Fire Festival, Samhuinn Fire Festival marks the transition from Summer to Winter with our characteristic mix of fire-play, drumming, and immersive performances. Our Society has often celebrated the other quarter-day festivals, and after the large success of our namesake (Beltane), Samhuinn was our next public event in Scotland, first taking place in 1995.
Samhuinn Fire Festival is a modern re-imagining of an ancient Celtic festival, marking the darkened end of summer and upcoming rise of winter. The story follows the overthrowing of Summer by Winter, with a dramatic stand-off between the Summer and Winter Kings. This is overseen by the Cailleach, a Celtic representation of the Goddess, or Divine Hag, who ultimately decides each King’s fate and ushers in the looming, colder months.
The transformation from Summer to Winter is supported by the energies and interactions of the Summer and Winter courts through fiery performance, music and dance. The narrative focuses on resolving seasonal conflict, but also highlights the transition that many aspects of life embark on during the changing of the seasons.
Samhuinn Fire Festival originally took place on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, but starting in 2018, the Festival was also held on Calton Hill to accommodate more people. Now, we’re starting anew and optimising space under Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park. Our volunteer-driven Beltane Fire Society scaled up its unique Halloween night celebration in response, with its neo-pagan theatre, pulsating drums, fire-dancing, acrobatics, and a staged finale.
Interested in Attending 2022 Samhuinn?
Visit here to register for our Samhuinn Fire Festival on Halloween night. To help with cost attendance at the event requires preregistration, with a suggested donation of £5 which will go toward the costs of staging the festivities.
PLEASE BE WATCHFUL OF FAKE DONATIONS / EVENTS
Please do not trust any website that says you need to give your credit card details
All digital content will be available for free via our social media platforms with clear unambiguous links available for you to make a donation, separate to you attending the festival.