Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Watch as Moray village marks age old tradition of Burning of the Clavie

Revellers gathered in Burghead to celebrate the ancient fire ritual that involves carrying a collection of split casks set alight through the Moray village.

The 1,600-year-old tradition draws in huge crowds with thousands of people flocking to the streets to watch what is one of the most unique and eye-opening fire festivals in existence.

With a roar and a shout from the crowd lining up on Granary Street this year’s festival began.

The fire was struck outside the house of the Clavie King, Dan Ralph, who ensures that the ritual remains as untouched by modernity as possible.

The traditional Burning of the Clavie event at Burghead in Moray.<br />Picture by Kenny Elrick.

Long-standing members of the community, called the Clavie Crew, then carried the flaming barrel full of staves around the village following the outline of the ancient Burghead settlement.

Along the route the crew would occasionally stop to stoke the fire and change the carrier. Members of the crew also passed out parts of the barrel on the walk around Burghead – possessing parts of the Clavie is said to bring good luck for the coming year.

Atop Doorie Hill on the ramparts of the town’s ancient fort known as The Douro, the burning cask dripping with molten tar found its resting place.

The Clavie is then fuelled and left to burn, turning the sky a sinister orange as flames lift ed into the night.

Some believe the smoke and fire wards off evil spirits.

The blackened staves from the Clavie are then gathered and later placed in the chimneys of Burghead, some say to prevent spirits and witches from descending and emerging from under the mantelpiece.

The history

The fiery Burghead ritual celebrates Hogmanay according to the Julian calendar by torching a 100kg cask filled with tar and wood that is fastened to a post and marched through the village.

It is believed the tradition originated around 400AD, when the village was the capital of the old Pictish kingdom.

We are live at the Burning of the Clavie in Burghead to celebrate the New Year!

Posted by The Press and Journal on Friday, 11 January 2019

The term Clavie likely comes from the Scottish Gaelic cliabh which has a similar pronunciation and can refer to a basket used for holding combustibles.

Celebrating on January 11 stems from the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in the 18th century which caused huge outcry at the time even triggering public disorder in some villages. However, the people of Burghead simply saw an opportunity to celebrate Hogmanay twice.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]