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Scotland’s Fire Festivals

Scotland invites you to her winter festivals.  They are ancient celebrations involving the power of fire. From civilized Edinburgh, to the Highlands, to Shetland’s wild side, fire-dancing, drumming, and processions dramatize the battle between seasons.  They begin on Samhuinn, or Halloween, and continue through the end of January.  All banish bad spirits and call forth the light. 

Imagine villagers in the Southern Highlands carrying fiery birch poles, wrapped in burlap, parading the outskirts of their village and chasing off evil. In Stonehaven, near Aberdeen, a big parade of brave souls walk the darkening streets, waving giant fireballs above their heads—this is followed by fireworks and partying in the streets.  Be there! On the last Tuesday in January, a thousand people in the Shetlands carry torches in a procession that culminates with the burning of a Viking Longship replica. Oh, the magic of Scotland.