Sometimes it's really cool to live in New Mexico. While working on a site I can't talk about until it launches, I was in Santa Fe late enough where I said heck, I'll should go to Zozobra again like I did last year.

Zozobra, of course, is Old Man Gloom, and you burn him to get rid of your woes. The effigy burning/music festival happens right before the Fiestas Days in Santa Fe which have been going on for hundreds of years.

I managed to get some pictures too. Most of them didn't come out, because the big effigy is slowly thrashing and my shutter speed is not adjustable.

Zozobra right before burning Here's the least blurry picture of Zozobra, right before he get torched, with fireworks smoke all around him.

Flame Juggling picture

My favorites are the fire jugglers anyway, which came out a bit better.

Zozobra explodes.

Zozobra explodes

Zozobra in full flame.

Zozobra in full flame

Zozobra is apparently based on an old Indian ritual, or pagan, as the religious folks would think, which outrages both the Catholic and Protestant religious folks in Santa Fe. Religious pamphleteers and banner wavers were out in force (again) this year, which only made the walk back to the car more fun. This year they stayed out the middle of the street.

The really bizarre thing about Zozobra though, is that the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe puts it on. Go figure.

It's also where, last year at the 75th Burning of Zozobra, I (re-?)invented the term "secondhand ganja." The secondhand ganja factor was about the same, maybe a bit higher this year. (Just for the record, I don't think the secondhand ganja is really enough to have an effect.) There were also an outrageous number of beautiful women and girls there.

A nice Dionysian time, considering I didn't drink anything.

Posted by Chad Lundgren on Sunday, September 8, 2002 (Link)


Posted by Roslee Wednesday, September 11, 2002 at 12:20 AM

So......it seems that the Zozobra effigy wasn't the only thing burning at the festival last week. No surprise there. I agree that second-hand ganja just smells interesting. I had to look up "ganja" in the dictionary. I knew only that it sounded familiar to me somehow.

I have been interested in the burning of old man gloom for some time now. However, I really do not care for the kind of crowds that gather at events associated with the city different. I look forward to Halloween and the celebration at Patricia's home up at Bernalillo. Her husband usually gets a bonfire going, and tells stories around the fire. I think that perhaps I may make a small effigy representing my recent troubles, woes and gloomy-guses and see if Patricia will let me burn my little effigy in their bonfire. A private ceremony apeals far greater to me than a great unknown crowd. But, then, you wouldn't be able to see a great number of new women at a private burning of old man gloom! Now I also understand a bit better just why you were out of sorts Saturday.....tired, red-eyed, just not feeling good. Maybe the second-hand ganja on top of all the smoke from the burning of Zozobra did get to you!

Posted by DONNA Tuesday, August 5, 2003 at 01:05 PM