Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Tar Barrel Night in Ottery St. Mary

It's Tar Barrel Night in Ottery again on the 5th, when the people in Ottery maintain their tradition of carrying burning tar barrels on their shoulders around town. It's been going on since the 1600's, possibly even longer. In the afternoon there are the children's barrels, followed by the youths, the women's and then the men's barrels, as the barrels get progressively larger. These photographs are from 2014 and there is also some video that I took linked below. The crowd seems to be better behaved than they used to be these days, which is good, as the insurance for this event gets more difficult each year. It's always a night of barely contained mayhem, which can be enjoyable in these overly health and safety conscious times. Thousands of visitors pack the narrow streets of Ottery as burning barrels are rapidly forced through the crowds. What could possibly go wrong?

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