Ancient Scottish tradition of Burning of the Clavie celebrated in Burghead

Burning the clavie is an ancient Scottish custom. It is held on 11th January, which is the old Scottish New Year (Hogmanay) by the Julian Calendar. The event is still observed at Burghead (Scottish Gaelic: Am Broch), a fishing village on the Moray Firth (An Cuan Moireach). The clavie is a half-cask filled with wood shavings and tar, which is then  set alight. The flaming clavie is carried through the village and finally to a headland upon which stands the ruins of an altar, called the Doorie. As the burning barrel falls to pieces, those assembled seek to get a lighted piece. This is placed on their home hearth. It is said that the charcoal of the clavie when put up the chimneys of people's homes, wards off spirits and witches.

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