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
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

samhuinn
Klara Osickova

Samhuinn 2014 Stage
Mark S. I. Taylor

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Samhuinn 2014 Stage
Mark S. I. Taylor

Samhuinn 2014 Procession
Mark S. I. Taylor

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Samhuinn 2014 Stage
György Papp

samhuinn
Stephen Yu

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samhuinn
Richard Winpenny

Samhuinn
Mark S. I. Taylor

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Samhuinn
Mark S. I. Taylor

Samhuinn
Anna Chaney

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Samhuinn
Anna Chaney

Samhuinn 2012
Richard Winpenny

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Samhuinn 2012
Richard Winpenny

Samhuinn 2012
Raini Scott

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Samhuinn 2012
Raini Scott

 2012
Raini Scott

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Samhuinn 2012
Raini Scott

samhuinn
Matt Dale

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samhuinn
JR Peterson

Samhuinn 2012
Raini Scott

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Photo: Aurelien Guichard, via Flickr flickr.com/photos/aguichard/5129020026
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