When is the BURNING of ZOZOBRA?
Firday, August 31, 2018
Many locals begin celebrating immediately after Zozobra has been burned however the official start of Fiesta is The Pregon De La Fiesta, a Mass at The Rosario Chapel the morning after Zozobra has been torched. Burning Zozobra began in 1924. One of the most popular events of the Fiesta weekend. This year it is Thursday evening September 8th at Fort Marcy Park.
What is Zozobra?
Zozobra is a 50 foot tall white marionette (puppet), with a black bow tie, black belt and cuffs, big neon green glowing eyes, and huge red lips. It was created by Santa Fe artist Will Shuster in 1924 and represents all of the "gloom" (hardships and disappointments) that people have experienced throughout the year. For this reason it is nicknamed "Old Man Gloom."
Why do they burn Zozobra?
It is believed that as Zozobra burns away, all of the past years hardships and disappointments that people have experienced burn away with him.
What can you expect to see during the burning of Zozobra?
When it begins to get dark, small fires are lit in front of Zozobra . A Fire Spirit Dancer in a red costume and small white "glooms" (children dressed in white) start dancing in front of Zozobra. The Fire Spirit Dancer dances and jumps trying to frighten away the "glooms". With anticipation building from the spectators, Zozobra is finally set on fire. As the flames sore up its body the arms start to move up and down and the heard turns from side to side. Fireworks light the night sky as Zozobra starts to moan and groan, the anguishing cries getting louder as the flames engulf its entire body (it can be scary to younger children). After the performance, the street leading from the park to the Plaza is closed to traffic so spectators can walk to the Plaza to dance, eat, and socialize.
Will Shuster's Zozobra burning is Thursday at dusk at Fort Marcy Park. There is entertainment and food booths on the Plaza. Tickets available the day of the event and in advance. All proceeds will benefit the children and youth of Santa Fe.
Special Note: Each year The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe stages the burning of Zozobra. www.zozobra.com
Planning the event is a year round activity and is done in cooperation with the City of Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Fiesta Council.
The Plaza is alive throughout the Fiesta weekend with a variety of entertainment, including Spanish dancing, mariachi music, food booths, craft booths, parades, ceremonies with a costumed Don Diego De Vargas and a court of the Queen and Princesses of the Fiesta, The Fiesta Melodrama, and a Carnival at the Rodeo Fairgrounds. One of Fiesta's most charming events, the Pet Parade, or Desfile de los Ninos, begins around 10 AM on Saturday. Children, parents and pets ranging from cats and dogs to llamas and snakes circle the Plaza and walk along downtown streets dressed in costumes (arrive early for a good curbside seat). Among Sunday afternoon's highlights is the Historical/Hysterical parade which features floats, marching bands, horses, and politicians. Sunday evening there is Fiesta Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Francis Cathedral, followed by a Candlelight Procession from the church through the historic downtown streets and up the hill to Cross of the Martyrs. Hundreds of people participate. The light from their candles is a beautiful sight and an appropriate ending to the weekend's events.
FOR A SCHEDULE OF FIESTA EVENTS VISIT WEBSITE: www.santafefiesta.org