8 months ago

Check out this year’s schedule for the Festival of the Dead in Tooting

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘exploring Samhain’ and there’s a huge schedule of events to get involved with.

Credit: @poppysfunerals

Every year Tooting hosts a Festival of the Dead event around Halloween, and 2023 is no different. This year the theme is ‘exploring Samhain’, the Celtic Festival that traditionally marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. The festival will take place between the 25th and 29th October and there’s a huge number of events to get involved with. Check them out below:


Words Woodfield Pavilion, 7pm-9pm. Open mic night for music, poems and performers with a spooky theme.


Death Cafe Tooting Library, 10.30am-12pm. Inclusive and friendly discussion on death and dying. Adults only.

Poppy’s Open Day Tooting Cemetery, 2pm-3pm and 4pm-5pm. Book into this tour of the mortuary by Poppy’s funeral directors. Ask questions and have an open mind!


Making Sense of Death Woodfield Pavilion, 4pm-5pm. Funeral director Poppy will talk you through the histories of practices and traditions around death.

Spirits of the Land Woodfield Pavilion, 6.30pm-9pm. Kate Corkery and June Peters will tell stories accompanied by the Wandle Delta string band. Food and bar available.


Stories for All Woodfield Pavilion, 10am-11am. Irish folklore in a family friendly setting.

Mask Making Woodfield Pavilion, 11.15am-12.30pm. Young and old welcome to make masks ahead of the Sunday gathering.

Family Tales Woodfield Pavilion, 1.30pm-2.15pm. These seasonal stories will be perfect for kids aged 7 and above.

Crown Making Woodfield Pavilion, 2.30pm-3.30pm. Fabric crown making session where you can take your creations home and save them for the Sunday gathering.

Proper Games Woodfield Pavilion, 3.45pm-4.30pm. Classic, outside games for some proper fun!

The Roots of Samhain Woodfield Pavilion, 5pm-6pm. Prof Graham Harvey is a specialist in paganism and indigenous religions. Join him to learn more about Halloween.

Land Rights and Ancestor Struggles Woodfield Pavilion, 7pm-9pm. Folk singer and social historian, Robin Grey, will sing all about the stories of common land.

Credit: @poppysfunerals


Greet the Dawn Tooting Common Pond, 6.30am-7am. Start the day with the community on common ground.

Walking with the Trees Woodfield Pavilion, 7.15am-8.30am. Rediscover nature with a walk through the trees of Tooting.

Coffee and Conversation Woodfield Pavilion, 8.30am- 9.45am.Have breakfast and talk all about indigenous spirituality with the experts.

Stories for Families Woodfield Pavilion, 10am-11.15am. Hear these charming retellings of ‘Grandfather’s Flute’ and ‘Ogaloussa’s Bones’.

Climate Cafe Woodfield Pavilion, 11.30am-1pm. Book into this session to share your thoughts on the death of nature and how we can respond to it.

Ikebana Workshop Upstairs at Woodfield, 12pm-1.30pm. Book into this workshop where you can learn the art of Japanese flower arranging.

Proper Games Woodfield Pavilion, 12pm-1pm. Classic, outside games for some proper fun!

The Gathering Woodfield Pavilion, 5.30pm7.30pm. The grand finale! Costume-up, bring a lantern and join this ceremony of ancestors. Drummers, fire breathing, food and drink, fire-pits and a few surprises too.

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