Friday, September 9, 2011

Missed Zozobra Again!

We've been coming to New Mexico going on 30 years now and have had a second home here for almost seven years. For many reasons we've always "missed" The Burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe, either because we had to leave before the event, or -- as is the case this year -- other things made it inadvisable or impossible to go. I decided not to go this year, for example, because I didn't want to go alone, and there was a specific night-time task I had to do at the house last night (still wrangling skunks, you see.)

Nevertheless, I wished "farewell to cares" -- which is the whole point of The Burning of Zozobra in any case -- and will have my own little ritual fireworks this evening, if all goes well.

Everyone in New Mexico has heard of Zozobra, but it seems that few outside the state have, and among those who have heard of it, there is a kind of inappropriate conflation with Burning Man in the Nevada desert wilderness. Burning Man is simply not the same thing.

I won't go into an elaborate history of The Burning of Zozobra, but just let it be said that it is a decades old ritual, beginning in 1924 in Will Shuster's backyard in Santa Fe; it is primarily a family-oriented local ritual connected with La Fiesta de Santa Fe, which has been going on annually since 1712.

It is about letting go.

Some people are too fearful to do that...


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