Samhuinn Fire Festival lights up Edinburgh

Samhuinn Fire Festival. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Samhuinn Fire Festival. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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THE annual Samhuinn Fire Festival has been staged in Edinburgh.

Huge crowds came out to watch the ancient Celtic festival, which marks the end of summer.

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh

They were treated to the lively street theatre, drums and fire displays.

The event has been organised by Beltane Fire Society, best known for the Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill.

A spokesman from the group said: “Samhuinn literally means ‘the end of Summer’.

“It is a night where the veil that splits both worlds grows thinner, a night where spirits can touch the souls of the living.

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh

Photographer Ian Georgeson, 07921 567360'Samhuinn Fire Festival, Edinburgh

“A night to reflect on the year gone by and to look forward to the one to come.

“Samhuinn celebrates the Celtic New Year, with a spectacular procession, and visual pyrotechnic feast in the heart of Edinburgh.”

The pagan-style festival began on High Street with the lighting of the Neid Fire.

The torchlit procession of sinister masked figures wound its ways down a packed Cockburn Street accompanied by the pulsing rhythms of the Winter Drummers.

The procession’s arrival at the stage at the Mound Precinct heralded the beginning of an epic fight for supremacy between the reigning Summer King and the harsh chill of the Prince of Winter.

Samhuinn is celebrated from sunset on October 31 to sunset on 1 November, and is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals.