Celebrate Samhuinn with the Edinburgh Dungeon's new attraction
- Nina Glencross
- 15 October 2013
Dinner for the Dead honours the traditional pagan celebration that became Hallowe'en
'We tend to think of Hallowe’en as an American holiday but to discover it has Scottish origins was really interesting,' says the Edinburgh Dungeon’s performance manager Keiran Wood. Representing themselves as the Home of Hallowe’en, the spooky staff felt they really had to go all out this year so upon discovering that it all began at the Scottish pagan festival of Samhuinn, they seized the chance bring Hallowe’en home. Set all the way back in the year 66, the new show Dinner For The Dead aims to amp up the Dungeons’ usual standard of scares whilst exploring the ancient rituals of the Votadini tribe and their annual Samhuinn festival, traditionally celebrated around the same time as Hallowe’en.
'But what’s all this got to do with dinner?' we hear you holler. As Wood explains, ‘the tribe believed that, during Samhuinn, the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest. As part of the festival they’d have a huge feast and they would actually set places at the table for deceased members of their family.’ Visitors are invited to join in the festival and experience these ancient pagan traditions first hand as they wander through a woodland clearing, bumping into witches and druids along the way before being confronted by a mysterious malevolent force from beyond the grave. ‘The less said about that, the better,’ asserts Wood, ‘I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.’
Dining With The Dead, Edinburgh Dungeons, Thu 10–Thu 31 Oct.