LISTEN: Rachel Backshall explains the ancient festival of Samhain and how the Crannog Centre is remembering this past on October 31
This coming Halloween the Scottish Crannog Centre is drawing back the curtain which veils ‘between the spirit world and the mortal world’ to where this divide disappears.
Song’s, stories and bonfire celebrate the end of the Summer season, marking the end of the harvest and beginning of the dark months ahead.
Samhain is this celebration, the day which Scotland’s Gaelic ancestors cleanse themselves of ill deeds and honour the spirits of the dead.
Rachel Backshall, the event coordinator at the Scottish Crannog Centre, says: “For us, it’s a really good time for reflection, and we’re building a huge wicker Kelpie this year, it’s going to be a great big water horse, and we’re asking people to contribute to this.
“Either by helping build a bit of him or in writing a message for something they would like to not bring with them into the new year, something they want to leave behind and something they want to burn with the Kelpie.
“And I think that’s really good for us at the moment at the moment, it’s certainly needed, to think about what we want and what we do not want before we go into the winter time.”
Visitors are encouraged to come dressed in guise, those who do will get a free hot drink, while performances and special activities which aim to help get the Crannog ready for winter run.
The tour of the centre will tell the story of the mysterious religion and beliefs of the Carnnog people, Ms Backshall says: “The tour will be focused around religion and beliefs of the Iron Age, as much as we know, and they’ll probably be some mysteries and puzzles in there.
“There’s many things we know about the Iron Age but we don’t understand why they do certain things because they’re per-historic people, they’re completely illiterate, they have an oral tradition and they pass down their knowledge through stories.”
They’re will be a ‘short Crannogy story’ about the ghosts of the Crannog followed by a Gaelic singer on the beach where guests can tie their message to the Kelpie and while the singer serenades the act.
As part of Samhain, remembering the Gaelic ancestors is a crucial part, Ms Backshall explains: “There’s a lot of traditions around leaving an empty bowl out at the table, filling it with food, and leaving the chair out for your ancestors so your ancestors can come and eat out with you. So it’s a lot about connecting to your family and your past.”
This year’s twenty twenty Samhian, like everyone before it, is for families to mark the end of the Summer season and embrace the coming Winter months.
Ms Backshall says ‘the Samhian event is booking up fast’ so she explains it’s best to book, online, in advance.
Tickets are £10 for Adults, £7 for Children (aged 5-16), £9 student’s and senior (65+) and under fives go free, visit the website or call for more information.
Find the website by following the link: www.crannog.co.uk
Or by calling: 01887 830583