Burning of the Clavie, Burghead, Scotland
11th January each year
Burghead is one of the few places in the Highlands where the ancient practice of Burning of the Clavie still takes place on the night of January 11 (the original Hogmanay before the calendar changed in 1660).
The "Clavie" is a half barrel filled with wood shavings and tar. It is carried, burning, clockwise around the streets of Burghead before being set down on a stone altar, remains of the old Pictish fort on the ancient Doorie Hill. More fuel is added until the hillside is ablaze with a beacon of fire and embers are said to bring good luck.
In 1704 a law was passed against Clavies and it was condemned as "an abominable heathenish practice”. But the ritual of Clavie burning still continues in Burghead...
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