Saturday, September 1, 2012

Viva la Fiesta!

The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn is ideally situated for guests to enjoy the upcoming events of Santa Fe's Annual Fiesta.  This three day cultural and religious celebration began in 1712 to commemorate the returning of the Spanish colonists to Santa Fe.

One of the highlights of Fiesta is the Burning of Zozobra, which will occur on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at Fort Marcy Park.  The event consists of the burning of a 50 foot tall effigy known as "Old Man Gloom", a huge puppet representing all the year's hardships and disappointments.  At dusk small fires are lit on the stage just in front of Zozobra and the Fire Dancers begin their dance, jumping and cavorting around in an attempt to frighten away the bad spirits.  The crowd grows increasingly animated, yelling out a chorus of "Burn him!  Burn him! Burn him!".  Once it is fully dark, the fire dancers light the base of the giant marionette, and as he catches fire he begins to moan and groan, waving his arms in the air, his enormous eyes glowing and rolling around.  It is a rather horrid yet spellbinding event.  As Zozobra burns, all the past year's 'doom and gloom' one has experienced burns away with him.  The finale comes with a burst a fireworks as flames engulf Zozobra's head, with the crowd going wild.

Following the burning, many people proceed to the Plaza where there is music, food and dancing.  Because of the popularity of this event, which draws about 50,000 viewers each year, I highly recommend leaving your car in the lot and walking to wherever you wish to go.  One can choose to participate with a close-up view of the burning by purchasing tickets ($20 for adults, $10 for children under 42") and being part of the scene in Ft. Marcy.  In this case, go early and bring a picnic supper.  Bear in the mind that the closer you sit to the stage, the wilder it will get as the night progresses.  For those wishing to avoid the big crowds, walk two blocks from the inn and head up to the Cross of the Martyrs.  You will have a great view and far less jostling about as you burn your doom and gloom.

For this wishing to avoid the event all together, please know that many restaurants in the downtown area will be closed, so you will want to check into this ahead of time.  Best to leave your car in the lot as traffic is insane on Zozobra night.

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