How to ward off bad spir­its

The Herald on Sunday - - THE WEEK -

THE Clavie, a burn­ing bar­rel packed with tar soaked sticks fixed on the top of a pole, is sur­rounded by peo­ple at the Doorie Hill in the fish­ing vil­lage of Burghead on the Mo­ray Firth. This an­cient cus­tom is cel­e­brated on Jan­uary 11 (New Year’s Eve by the Julien Cal­en­dar) and the name de­rives from the Latin clavis which are large nails used to hold to­gether burn­ing bas­kets of tar to pro­tect against bad spir­its and witches.

Pho­to­graph: Jeff J Mitchell

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