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Samhuinn fire festival set to burn bright in Edinburgh

Samhuinn fire festival set to burn bright in Edinburgh

The Samhuinn festival of fire is about to return to the streets of Edinburgh to mark the beginning of winter.

Organised by the Beltane Fire Society, the event will take place at its new location along the Grassmarket on October 31, from 7pm.

In an ancient pagan tradition that has spanned the centuries, the winter welcoming of Samhuinn is a free public event where volunteer actors and dancers, accompanied by pyrotechnic displays put on a spectacular show.

According to the organisers: "At Samhuinn, the veil between the worlds draws thin and the spirits gather close to bear witness as the courts of Summer and Winter battle for control of the seasons.

"In her wild ecstasy of grief and sorrow, the Cailleach ushers the last breath of Summer's opulent decadence into the beyond to make way for the icy storms of Winter's dark reign..."

via STV via STV

Thousands of people from across the city now gather each year to watch the group perform.

The festival was not always so openly welcomed by the city though.

Banned by the local church for over a century for being viewed as anti-Christian, the group re-formed in 1988 to put on their first official festival.

Christian groups were invited to attend and, with support from local residents, the festival grew.

  (laura.piper@stv.tv)
via STV via STV

Families with children are welcome at parental discretion, though a separate Family Samhuinn event is also being arranged for earlier in the day.

For more information on the event check out the Samhuinn Fire Festival 2015 page

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