The Celtic festival of Samhain, a forefather of today’s Halloween, celebrates the end of summer and is a time when the Celts and Gaels of old believed that the dead could cross over into the land of the living.

The festival morphed into Halloween with the advent of the Roman festival Feralia and the creation of the Christian All Hallows Day and All Souls Day. It is observed in different ways with the carving of pumpkins, the lighting of bonfires and trick or treating some of the more popular.

Halloween has continued as a popular festival throughout the ages in Scotland – the national poet, Robert Burns, even wrote a poem about it. During Samhain (or Samhuinn as it is known in parts of Scotland) bonfires were lit to ward off the evil spirits and in some households, food and drink were offered to appease the spirits.

For youngsters, Duchally Country Estate is holding a Children’s Halloween Party between 6pm and 8pm on Saturday 29th October. There will be lots of fun and games and fancy dress is more than welcome.

In Edinburgh (only one hour from CLC Duchally Country Estate) on 31st October, the city will be marking the end of the Celtic year with costumes, mythical creatures, fire, drums and lots of enthusiasm with the Samhuinn Fire Festival.