Samhuinn Fire Festival

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Gordon Veitch

The Samhuinn Fire Festival lit up Edinburgh’s skies on Monday night with a procession of fire, dance, and drumming down the Royal Mile.

Thousands of spectators gathered to mark Halloween with one of the city’s open-air festivals, which celebrates Scotland’s heritage by reviving the Celtic New Year.

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Mark Taylor

More than 100 volunteers from Beltane Fire Society delivered a vibrant display of fireplay, acrobatics, and costumes in the capital’s city centre.

Starting at the top of the High Street, the procession made its way down to a stage, which this year was in a new location on the main pedestrian area of the Royal Mile looking up towards the castle.

The festival is a contemporary re-imagining of traditional Samhuinn celebrations, which mark the onset of winter, by depicting a battle between the Summer King and the Winter King.

It was first revived in 1995 by a small group of enthusiasts, and now involves over 100 collaborators and performers.

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Neil Barton

Erin Macdonald, chairwoman of the Board at Beltane Fire Society, said: “We are thrilled with how Samhuinn turned out this year.

“Our volunteers have been working hard for weeks on their performances, and the fantastic atmosphere in the crowd meant that it all paid off.

“It’s wonderful getting to return to the Royal Mile year on year, and last night was no exception.

“We’d like to thank everyone who helped make last night a success, from local residents, to volunteers, the city council, police, and others.”

The Beltane Fire Society is a charity run by volunteers, dedicated to marking the fire festivals of the ancient Celtic calendar and keeping traditional Scottish skills of street theatre, music and pageantry alive.

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Vince Graham

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Neil Barton

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Vince Graham

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Mark Taylor

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Nick Toth

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Richard Winpenny

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-41831810

Week in pictures: 29 October

Our selection of some of the most striking news photographs taken around the world this week.

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Hannah McKay/REUTERS

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Rohingya Muslims continue their journey after crossing the Myanmar-Bangladesh border at Palong Khali. About 600,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since 25 August.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump host Halloween on the south lawn at the White House in Washington DC. The first couple gave cookies away to costumed trick-or-treaters one day before the Halloween holiday.

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Charlotte Graham/REX/Shutterstock

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Halfdan Ragnarsson, Ubba Ragnarsson and Ivarr the Boneless take part in an event to start the countdown to the next Jorvik Viking Festival in York, UK. On 1 November AD866, the Vikings invaded the Anglo-Saxon town of Eoforwic, knowing that the residents would be in church – without their weapons – celebrating the feast of All Saints.

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Mussa Qawasma /REUTERS

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An actor dressed as Queen Elizabeth II, outside Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, gestures during an event ahead of the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. UK Prime Minister Theresa May is to host her Israeli counterpart to mark the centenary of a British pledge that paved the way for Israel’s creation.

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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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Eight people died after a man drove a truck into pedestrians on a cycle path in Manhattan. Mangled bikes littered the area after the incident. A 29-year-old man faces federal terrorism charges.

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Susana Vera/REUTERS

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Eight sacked Catalan ministers have been remanded in custody by a Spanish high court judge over the region’s push for independence. Seven of the eight ex-ministers were pictured turning up to court together. The state prosecutor has requested a European arrest warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four others over their role in a disputed independence referendum – all five failed to show up at the high court.

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Victoria Jones/PA

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Members of staff with paintings of the Houses of Parliament by Claude Monet during a photocall for Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870-1904). The exhibition at Tate Britain unites the largest number of Monet’s Houses of Parliament series seen in the UK for over 40 years.

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TIZIANA FABI/afp

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A bird stands on a white cross at the Sicily-Rome American cemetery in Nettuno. Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the cemetery before visiting the Fosse Ardeatine monument in Rome, the site of a mass execution in which 300 Italian civilians were killed by Nazi troops in 1944.

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Andrew Walmsley via REUTERS

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A new species of orangutan has been identified by researchers on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where a small population inhabits its Batag Toru forest. The species has been named the Tapanuli orangutan – a third species in addition to the Bornean and Sumatran.

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-41845625