When: 11th January 2019
Where: Burghead, Moray, Scotland
£: Free to watch
What is it?
The Burning of the Clavie is a unique fire festival held annually on 11th January in Burghead, Scotland.
The tradition celebrates the New Year according to the Julian calendar and features a barrel full of staves, known as a Clavie.
It is unknown when this custom first began, but it is thought to date back to at least the 1700s, and is still going strong today.
The ‘Clavie’ refers to a cask which is split in half, coated with tar, and filled with burning staves.
The flaming Clavie is paraded around the fishing village of Burghead in Moray, followed by a large crowd of onlookers. Only natives of Burghead are allowed to carry the burning barrels and they are known as the ‘Clavie Crew’.
Following the parade, the Clavie is taken to Doorie Hill, the site of an ancient fort. Here the Clavie is left to burn out.
Locals are known to gather up the embers of the Clavie, as they are meant to bring good luck. Traditionally the inhabitants of Burghead would have put the embers in their hearths to prevent bad spirits and witches coming down their chimneys.
More info: www.burghead.com/clavie