The procession begins
Duane and I attended Samhain on October 31st on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh Scotland. IT WAS AMAZING! Ohmygoodness. For anyone who doesn't know, here is what Samhain is about...from Wikipedia:
Samhain ( /ˈsɑːwɪn/, /ˈsaʊ.ɪn/, or /ˈsaʊn/) is a Gaelic harvest festival held on October 31–November 1. It was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and was popularised as the "Celtic New Year" beginning in the 18th century.
Samhain marked the end of the harvest, the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half". It was traditionally celebrated over the course of several days. It has some elements of a festival of the dead. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain; because so many animals and plants were dying, it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.
In Scotland the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white. Samhnag — turnips which were hollowed-out and carved with faces to make lanterns — were also used to ward off harmful spirits.
The Gaelic festival became associated with the Catholic All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and has hugely influenced the secular customs now connected with Halloween, a name first attested in the 16th century as a Scottish shortening of the fuller All-Hallows-Even.
Samhain is celebrated as a religious festival by some neopagans.
Me again. It was just so amazing. We were standing at the castle during the beginning. A woman, in a black cloak, came out and bowed down in front of the Witches memorial (the memorial of 4000 witches burned.) Her path was cleared by a woman painted all in blue who was carrying a tree limb and she would slash it around to create space or use the branch as a directional "arrow" Oh my, when I saw the woman bow before the witch monument, I got shivers! All good shivers! I looked at Duane and said, "THAT WAS AWESOME!" (in all caps..heehee).
Wow, what an experience. The whole thing was just so amazing. The above photo are the "animals" that begin the procession. LOVE!