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Missing Burning of the Clavie tonight? Relive previous years with the best of our photos and videos

Silhouetted figures stand around the burning Clavie.
Flames and smoke add to the atmosphere of Clavie night in Burghead. Photo: Jason Hedges/DCT Media

For a second year in a row the Burning of the Clavie in Burghead has been cancelled due to Covid, so enjoy the best of previous years with the Press & Journal’s own photos.

The procession of the barrel ablaze through the Moray town to the top of Doorie Hill has captivated and intrigued generations.

And, although the fire will not burn bright on the north-east coast this January 11 – Brochers will still be celebrating their own New Year.

We have assembled the best photos and videos from previous Burning of the Clavie in Burghead to ensure you can still enjoy the festivities.

Clavie memories with Dan Ralph

Photos of Clavie nights in the 1970s

What are the origins of Clavie night?

Little is known about how and why exactly the Burning of the Clavie began in Burghead.

What is known is that fire festivals were once commonplace along the length of the north-east coast – with the Stonehaven Hogmanay fireballs being another example.

Burghead was home to a massive ancient Pictish fort, which could date far as back as the 6th Century and is believed to be one of the biggest of its type in Scotland.

The size of the settlement may have given the community special significance before the fort was destroyed by fire in a Viking raid.

It is known the January 11 date is significant due to it being the beginning of the New Year in the old Julian calendar, which was introduced by Romans.

When it was reformed in the 1750s the end of the year moved to what is now Hogmanay, which angered many Scots of the era who demanded to have their 11 days back.

However, in Burghead, Brochers decided to continue to celebrate the dawn of the New Year on the date they always have done.

Silhouetted figures

Why has the Burning of the Clavie been cancelled again?

The Burning of the Clavie was cancelled in 2021 for the first time since the Second World War due to the Christmas Covid lockdown of the time.

Concerns about the Omicron variant led to the Scottish Government limiting outdoor gatherings to 500 people.

The move led to many Hogmanay and Bonfire Night celebrations being cancelled.

And with thousands regularly attending the Burning of the Clavie in Burghead every year, it also led to the fire festival also being snuffed out.

Organisers left a final decision late in the hope that rules may change before eventually cancelling about a week before the big day.

Best photos of street processions

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