Friday, December 31, 2010

Tradition Custom of Burning the Old Man Gloom on New Year Eve

What is the tradition of burning the "Old Man"?
This is an old tradition done on December 31st, on which day an effigy made from old clothes is made and set afire, thereby burning to ashes all the troubles and problems of the past 12 months and beginning a new year afresh without any worries or sorrows. People dance and sing in happiness, saying a glad farewell to the effigy known as "Old Man Gloom".
Read this interesting article on Santa Fe's Old Man effigy, known as "Zozobra": Goodbye Old Man Gloom!

Check out the photos of an old man prepared for the ritual burning on December 31st: 

An old man ready for burning, while another headless lies at his feet  one lies at his feet   

 In the above photo, note the toy pistol lying near the feet of the headless effigy - looks like the worries of the old year are going to be shot away....Bang! Bang!....Poof!

A cardboard hold up the old man
In the above photo, note the lemon and chillies tied around the neck - in India, a lemon and chillies are tied and put at doorways of business establishments and new vehicles to ward off trouble and evil. So also, the above "old man" has a lemon and chillies tied around to get rid of its evil influences.

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