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Tar Barrels - 5th November

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Offline Sara

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Tar Barrels - 5th November
« on: October 10, 2012, 05:09:59 PM »
Tar BarrelsWiki - 5th November

Lots of information and videos here.

Every year on November 5th since time began, well at least since the 17th Century, this quaint little town nestled in the heart of the Devonshire countryside comes alive with the smell of blazing tar and roar of the crowds as seemingly demented men women and children tear through the packed streets carrying blazing barrels on their backs.

It is the famous Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels.
Thought to have originated in the 17th Century, this tradition involves wooden barrels soaked in tar which are set ablaze, hoisted aloft and carried through the packed streets and alleys of Ottery St Mary on the shoulders of the privileged few elite "Barrel rollers".

Every pub in the town sponsors a barrel making a total of 17 tar barrels, ranging from children's, through ladies to the men's tar barrels weighing anything up to 30 kilos. Each one is lit in turn outside its sponsoring pub. Starting late afternoon with Children's tar barrels and the grand finale culminating in the square at midnight with the last men's tar barrel.

No one is really sure why they do it but the most popular opinion suggests a pagan ritual to rid the town of evil spirits using cleansing flame and the camaraderie of the townsfolk.

Whatever the reason it is a truly spectacular event, and combined with an enormous bonfire on one side of the river and the annual funfair like a neon reflection on the other makes it a really remarkable occasion, one of the last remaining traditions which should be cherished and saved from the insanity of the powers that be.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 04:35:38 PM by Sara »
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