Held every year on the 11th of January in Burghead on the site of the ancient pictish fort, the burning of the Clavie is a very old new year fire festival. Pretty spectacular to watch and seemingly hazardous to enact. The Clavie King and his entourage carry the burning Clavie about town after it's lit by a peat, stopping at various houses to gift burning staves to light their fires. They end up mounting the Clavie on a stone plinth on the fort's ramparts where extra wood is added and buckets of tar thrown on to the cheers of "Clavie!" with explosive results. It's considered good luck to get a piece of the Clavie wood and light your own fire. Towards the end they struck the Clavie to bring it down which made one of my favourite images of the night. The variants show different parts of the celebration. Big crowd this year but managed to get a good viewpoint for me and the family.
Tags: Photo journalism
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