Although Halloween is celebrated at his peak in the United States, it’s a very ancient celebration and there are several traditions related to this night wherever you go.
With its beautiful and mystic landscapes, dark castles, legends, and significant history, it’s not difficult to imagine that Scotland has several connections with Halloween.
In Edinburgh there is a spectacular festival that takes place every year at Halloween, the Samhuinn Fire Festival, organized by the Beltane Fire Society. A beautiful form of street theatre and performances, with music and dance, costumes and fire. The Celtic Festival mostly want to celebrate the changing of the seasons, the end of summer and the beginning of winter, with a very atmospheric event.
Obviously, another Halloween tradition also present in Scotland as well as all over the world, is pumpkin carving, and the creation of lanterns; following the tradition, this should send away negativity and demonic spirits.
Castle Haunted Tours are also celebrated during this period, and the guides often tells mystic stories and secrets of the fortress visited.
Scotland has a very ancient history, and a dark period that is often remembered in October is the Witch Trials in Early Modern Scotland.
In fact, in 1563, the Witchcraft Act made for the first time the use of witchcraft a real crime, and women supposed to be witches was persecuted and killed. It was a very dark and sad period of Scottish history and many innocent lives were sacrificed.
The King of Scotland James VI had an important role during this period; Agnes Sampson, a midwife considered to have healing powers, was convicted of using witchcraft to send storms against James’s ship. The king became obsessed with persecution of witches and insisted on torture for the suspects. He even wrote a book about how important it was to exterminate all the witches, the Daemonologie. Not everyone knows that this book was the background material of Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Macbeth.