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20 atmospheric images of Edinburgh's Celtic Halloween ritual Samhuinn

The ancient ceremony, heralding the death of summer and the onset of winter, is celebrated annually by Edinburgh's Beltane Fire Society

Written by
Niki Boyle
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Samhuinn (also written as 'samhain', and pronounced 'sa-wain') is an ancient Celtic ritual heralding the death of summer and the start of winter. It's effectively a harvest festival, giving thanks for the season's crop yield and readying people for the cold months ahead. Edinburgh's Beltane Fire Society re-enact the ceremony every year on Halloween, and as with their similarly themed springtime ritual (Beltane, from which they get their name), Samhuinn is a riot of tribal drumming, pyrotechnics, body paint and symbolic, often violent street theatre. Check out our gallery for an idea of what to expect.

Like this? Check out our eye-catching Beltane fire festival gallery

Klara Osickova

Mark S. I. Taylor

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Mark S. I. Taylor

Mark S. I. Taylor

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György Papp

Stephen Yu

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Richard Winpenny

Mark S. I. Taylor

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Mark S. I. Taylor

Anna Chaney

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Anna Chaney

Richard Winpenny

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Richard Winpenny

Raini Scott

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Raini Scott

Raini Scott

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Raini Scott

Matt Dale

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JR Peterson

Raini Scott

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