Friday, August 10, 2012

The Burry Man

This morning, I took the family to South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, to see an ancient tradition taking place called The Burry Man. Dating as far back as 1687, it has been performed on the second Friday in the month of August for nearly four centuries. A weird sight indeed, the Burry Man is dressed from head to ankle in burrs (the spikey seed case of the burdock plant) and then paraded through the streets of the town for nine hours. The purpose of The Burryman is unclear, the locals I spoke to suggested many origins; ranging from the warding off of evil spirits, to bringing good luck to the local herring fishing community or being symbolic of a flourishing and fruitful harvest. Whatever the roots are, it was an utterly odd and surreal experience following the him through a local housing estate this morning. Hopefully a little of the oddness is conveyed in the photographs which I took below.

1 comment:

Keith Seatman said...

What a fine looking fellow he is. And what a surreal experience it must have been.