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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tar Barrel Rollers 

Here is a video from Australian, Tony Nahrung, that will give you a feeling of warmth during the cold, damp days of the British autumn. It features the people of the Devon town of Ottery St Mary and their remarkable tar barrel rolling festival. That this festival occurs on 5 November each year should give a clue to what happens at possibly the most crazy event in the UK, eloquently described by Tony as "an insane night of fun, drinking beer, dodging burning tar barrels, chilling by a huge bonfire and enjoying rides at the fun fair." That's right, burning tar barrels.

The chosen few, known locally as Barrel Rollers and affectionately referred to as Devonian Nutters, hoist burning, wooden, tar barrels onto their shoulders and run through the streets. Teams of Barrel Rollers, men, women and children, represent the different pubs in the village, carrying on a 17th century tradition to rid the town of evil spirits.

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