Edinburgh’s spectacular Winter festival returns once more to Calton Hill this October with a fiery twist on Halloween night.
Samhuinn Fire Festival brings the Celtic New Year to a modern audience with a dazzling mix of fire, drumming, acrobatics, and immersive theatre.
The nights are getting longer and the veil draws thin between our world and the next. As we turn to face the dark wintry months together, hundreds of otherworldly creatures will awaken all over Calton Hill and gather for an epic struggle between Winter and Summer.
Witness the dramatic battle between the Winter King and the Summer King up close, before the mysterious Cailleach emerges to decide each of their fates.
Read important information about entrance times, entrances, and food and drink here in our FAQs.
Thursday 31st October. Gates will open at 7PM. Last entry is at 10pm. There is no re-entry to the festival. The event will finish at roughly 12PM.
At the top of Calton Hill in Edinburgh, entering from Regent Road near Waterloo Place.
Performers will enter from both sides of the Hill, so it is up to you whether you choose to follow the Winter or Summer forces, or move around to get a mixture of both.
HOW MUCH ARE TICKETS?
Adult tickets are £8 + booking fee in advance and £10 on the day. Child tickets are £4 + booking fee in advance and £5 on the day. There are a limited amount of low income tickets available for £3 + booking fee.
We expect this year’s festival to sell out, so recommend booking as soon as possible. There will be a limited amount of tickets to buy on the gate, but queues will be heavy and we are likely to sell out quickly.
All tickets can be purchased from Citizen Ticket.
Children aged 5 and under go free.
IS SAMHUINN FAMILY FRIENDLY?
Families with children are welcome at parents’ discretion. Please see our Accessibility section for a fuller description of the performance to help you decide whether Samhuinn will be suitable for your wee ones.
We are also hosting a FAMILY SAMHUINN event on Saturday 26th October, which will be a fun afternoon of storytelling and drama games.
Calton Hill involves a sloping ascent and the festival takes place in darkness with some areas becoming very crowded, so you may want to consider attending with a friend and arriving early to ensure your comfort. Care should be taken moving around the Hill, as the ground away from the paths is uneven and can get a bit slippery if it rains.
Witnesses with mobility considerations often prefer to head straight to the stage area at the beginning to find a great place to watch from. Our friendly stewards will be on hand to help you get situated and give you any information you might need. Look out for the painted people in orange hi-vis jackets.
There will be loud noises, mostly in the form of drumming, and some flashing lights in the form of pyrotechnics and flash photography.
Some costumed performers will be mingling, in character, with our witnesses throughout the evening. There will be some partial nudity.
The festival is stewarded and complies with all relevant health and safety requirements but please be aware that it takes place in the dark with a mobile audience of thousands.
BFS cannot advise on parking or accommodation in, or travel to or within, Edinburgh.
For accessibility-related questions, please email access[at]beltane[dot]org in advance.
Featured image by Neil Barton for Beltane Fire Society. All rights reserved.