• Posted:Wednesday, August 12, 2009
  • Comments: 0

Posted in: Travel
Burn Zozobra in Santa Fe
If you're backpacking around New Mexico at the start of September and you're looking for something a little bit weird to go to, then I have the perfect suggestion for you. Head down to Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe on the 10th and join in the annual burning of Zozobra - a really unattractive fifty-foot marionette that waves its arms around and growls occasionally, originally conceived by local artist Will Schuster in 1924. According to the official Zozobra website, he's supposed to represent Old Man Gloom and after he's set on fire, his passing dispels all the hardships of the past year. Accompanying the torching is a fire spirit dancer who wears a dramatic red costume and leaps about near the top of Zozobra's stage, banishing the gloom from the town.

His demise is used every year as a way of starting the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe on the weekend after Labour Day. The Fiestas party started in 1712 to celebrate the recapturing of New Mexico by Don Diego de Vargas. Shuster himself designed Zozobra until 1964, after which time he gave his sketches to the Kiwanis Club, a group dedicated to providing community services and which is celebrating its 89th anniversary in 2010. The burning itself sounds like a fun thing to go to - 2001's event had over 32,000 spectators so at least you'll be in good company if you do go. I imagine it'll be nice and warm as well.

If you're looking for some Santa Fe culture but don't want to risk catching on fire, there's a wine and chile fiesta towards the end of the month that will give you some time to relax.ADNFCR-2435-ID-19309407-ADNFCR
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