About Samhuinn Fire Festival

The membership of the Society has often celebrated the other quarter-day festivals. After the success of Beltane, Samhuinn was our next public event, first taking place in 1995.

Our Samhuinn celebration takes place in Edinburgh’s Old Town which has historic significance as a site of ancient markets and All Hallows fairs, street theatre and performances (especially of the Galoshan plays from which our performance takes its structure). It is also an opportunity for us to bring our form of street theatre and performance right into the heart of the city. Samhuinn has grown steadily over the years and is viewed by audiences of thousands.

The story follows the ideas of the overthrowing of Summer by Winter, with a stand-off between the Summer and Winter Kings. This is overseen by the Cailleach, a Celtic representation of the Goddess, or Divine Hag. The transformation from Summer to Winter is supported by the energies and interactions of the Summer and Winter courts – through performance, music and dance. The narrative focuses on this conflict and its resolution, but also focuses on the transition that many aspects of life take during the changing of the seasons.

For information about getting to Samhuinn and watching the festival, including accessibility and family guidance, please see our Samhuinn Audience Experience page.


Featured image by Raini Scott for Beltane Fire Society