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3,000 gather for fire festival

Around 3,000 people have gathered to watch and take part in the annual Burning of the Clavie.

The fire festival, which is said to date back to the 1750s, is held in Burghead, Moray, on January 11 each year.

The clavie, which is a half-cask filled with wood staves and tar, is set alight and then paraded through the streets of the coastal town by an elected "Clavie King".

Pieces of the cask are handed out to members of the community, a custom which is said to bring good luck for the coming year.

It is said to be a second New Year celebration, as January 11 marks the first day of the Julian calendar year.

A post on the event's website explains: "The significance of January 11 dates back to the 1750s, when the Julian calendar was reformed in Britain. The new Gregorian calendar was introduced. People rioted, demanding back their 11 days - but not in Burghead.

"Brochers decided to have the best of both worlds, by celebrating New Year twice - on January 1 and January 11."

After the parade, the flaming clavie was placed on the Doorie Hill, on the ramparts of Burghead's ancient fort.


From Belfast Telegraph