Fire in the Rain: The Samhuinn Festival

As fine rain fell from darkening skies, the old cobbled stones of the city once again became a swirling parade of fire.

Dancers gathered in the dark, torches were lit, and the Beltane Fire Society emerged whirling from the shadows to share their winter celebrations with the city.

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.

Today, more than 18,000 people of all religions now gather peacefully each year to watch the group perform.


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