As a counterbalance to our sister event, Beltane Fire Festival, Samhuinn Fire Festival marks the transition from Winter to Summer with our characteristic mix of fireplay, drumming, and immersive performance.
Our Society has often celebrated the other quarter-day festivals, and after the success of our namesake, Beltane, Samhuinn was our next public event, first taking place in 1995.
Our Samhuinn celebration takes place on top of Calton Hill on the same night as Hallowe’en. 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 colder months.
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