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Performance Art as Ritual: Samhuin: /sow - en/

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Sawhuin is celebrated each year on October 31st, as the Celtic New Year, symbolizing the transformation of summer into winter.  In Edinburgh, Scotland, a group of people from the community get together and celebrate this occasion in the form of a grand procession and performance culminating at a central square. Brightly colored hand-made costumes, music, torches, and screams mark the pieces with an air of tradition dating back to Gaelic folkloric roots and legends of  the "green man" (nature) battling the inevitable changing of seasons.  The seasonal festivals that take place each year in Edinburgh are organized and put on by the Beltane Fire Society, a non-profit group of volunteers commited to fostering an awareness of Celtic and Medieval folklore through performance art among other means.
I had the opportunity, with a friend and classmate of mine, to film the event for a class, but if you are interested in watching the footage, you will have to wait until Christmas (unless you are in Manchester). However, Ben has provided us with these stills from his own footage to illustrate the beauty of this convergence of color and tradition.
(The Celtic Medicine Wheel may help to explain some of the underlying folklore.)
 
For the sake of discussion: what rituals (daily or otherwise) can you think of that would constitute a form of art, in your mind?
 
   


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thanks for posting my pics julia. all i can do is reitterate what you've said, samhuin is an amazing experience: complete with drums, a folk band, dancers and jesters. i've never experienced a performance so full of dualities- new yet ancient, lively yet dark, and happy yet sad.11/7/2003 10:14:53 PM
ben
Trying to get up in the morning, Jules. And eating - definately eating. And cooking.11/9/2003 9:50:07 PM
name not provided
well, everyone needs to eat and sleep, hiram, but what is it about HOW you do these things that makes them ritualistic?11/13/2003 3:52:51 AM
pax
have you seen hiram make a salad? that is ritualistic.11/14/2003 11:02:08 AM
ben
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