Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

The people of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire see in the New Year with a Fireball Festival. Participants (known as 'Swingers') make a package of flammable material which they then contain in chicken wire, attaching a wire handle. In the last minutes of December 31st, the packages are lit and paraded through the streets, the swinger whirling the fireball around them. It's quite spectacular, and a Health and Safety nightmare.

The meaning behind the ceremony is hotly (ho ho) debated, but it either signifies a plea to the Gods for continued sun, or the fire symbolises purification as one year ends and another begins. More here.

Happy New Year to all! & Happy Birthday to Island Of Terror, one year old today (that's seven in blog years).

I may not post every day in 2012, as that's a bit of a treadmill that I sometimes struggle to stay on, and I'm going to take a week off or so now, but please check back regularly or subscribe - there's a lot still to come, including, ulp, new films.

Paul (U-W)


  1. Happy New Year Paul! Have you ever been to the Fireball Festival? There's something similar in the town of Liestal here in Switzerland during carneval season (called Chienbäse).

  2. Never been, Dispo, would love to, though. Would be cool to see the festivities in Liestal, too.
    Happy 2012!

  3. In Liestal, they pull big fires on iron chariots through the city, others carry wooden burning brooms. This video on YouTube gives an ok impression:
    I've been there, it's great...