Connect with us

News

Wild Photos of Bizarre British Tradition Where Flaming Barrels Are Hauled Through Village

Published

on

bonfire

Each year in a small town in southern England, villagers celebrate Guy Fawkes Night by hauling flaming barrels of tar on their backs and running through a crowd of people.

Ottery Tar Barrels is an eccentric tradition that dates all the way back to the 17th century and commemorates the day Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London. Photographer Jack Boskett attended the annual tradition and captured red-hot images.

“Covering the Tar Barrels was a surreal job. They’re all mad,” he tells PetaPixel.

“The streets are full to the brim with people and you are under the illusion that you cannot move through to get to the other side of the street, however when a lit barrel charges towards you, you’ll be surprised as to how much free space there actually is.”

fire crowd

fire barrels

fire

Photographing the event is a tricky task. The dark night may lead some photographers to grab the flashgun. However, there is ambient light emnating from the fiery barrels.

“It was a challenge to photograph the event as it was dark, but the light from the fire is so bright,” adds Boskett.

“I love the way it lights up the faces in the crowd as the tar barrel makes its way through the spectators at speed. A truly fascinating old tradition.”

panning

fire

fire

Bizarre Ritual

The Ottery Tar Barrels takes place on Guy Fawkes Night (November 5), a uniquely British tradition that commemorates the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to assassinate King James I by blowing up the English Parliament. Guy Fawkes was arrested while guarding the explosives and his name has since fallen into folk legend.

Since the failed assassination attempt in 1605, people have taken to making bonfires to celebrate the King’s survival. Sometimes they will create a “Guy” to burn on the bonfire. This year an effigy of short-lived Prime Minister Liz Truss was burned.

fire

fire

fire

The tradition of burning things on November 5 had led the town folk of Ottery St Mary to carry flaming barrels of tar on their back. No one is quite sure how this tradition came about.

Ancient Traditions

It is little wonder photographers are drawn to unusual and archaic traditions. Earlier this year, PetaPixel featured Asher Svidensky who traveled to Bulgaria to photograph the ancient Kukeri rituals where villagers cover their bodies with furs, wear handcrafted masks, and paint themselves in order to transform their appearance into intimidating monsters. Then, with their monstrous appearance, the villagers will band together and chase away all the evil spirits from their villages and crop fields.

fire

fire

More of Boskett’s work can be found on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Image credits: All photos by Jack Boskett.

Continue Reading

Recent News

WhatsApp Business WhatsApp Business
Business17 mins ago

Running WhatsApp Business with Pro+VPS for Android Emulator

WhatsApp Business is one of the most powerful tool for Business to manage customers communication. Running it can enhance the...

Civil Partnership Visa Civil Partnership Visa
Finance1 day ago

Civil Partnership Visa vs Spouse Visa: Which One is Right for You

Choosing the right visa to join your partner in the UK can be confusing. Two common options are the Civil...

Crypto Crypto
Crypto2 days ago

Staked Crypto – A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Ethereum staking has become an increasingly popular way for cryptocurrency holders to earn passive income through staking rewards. In this...

Ethereum Staking Ethereum Staking
Crypto4 days ago

Maximizing Ethereum Staking Rewards: Tips and Tricks

Are you looking to maximize the potential of your Ethereum holdings? Stake Ethereum using OkayCoin and take advantage of the...

Wedding Wedding
Wedding4 days ago

4 Wedding Services You Can Quickly Check Off Your To-Do List

Organizing a wedding might like arranging a large-scale symphony, in which each element must work together to produce a beautiful...

Luxury Shopping Luxury Shopping
Lifestyle4 days ago

Luxury Shopping in Ibiza: A Guide to the Finest Boutiques

Ibiza is synonymous with lavish lifestyles, sun-soaked beaches, and electrifying nightlife. But beyond the party scene and stunning seascapes, the...

Indian Brides Indian Brides
Fashion6 days ago

Top Trends in Diamond Necklaces for Indian Brides

As Indian brides gear up for their big day, the selection of the perfect diamond necklace is crucial. Diamond necklaces...

Snaptik Snaptik
Entertainment6 days ago

Snaptik: The Ultimate Tool for Watermark-Free TikTok Downloads

Snaptik stands out as the top tool for downloading TikTok videos without watermarks. It fights the issue of videos having...

Bedroom Bedroom
Lifestyle1 week ago

Refresh Your Bedroom: Summer-Inspired Interior Designs

Not only does June signal the midpoint of 2024, but it also signals the arrival of summer. With the changing...

SEO SEO
Digital Marketing1 week ago

Optimizing Your Website for SEO: Key Strategies and Tools

If you’ve spent any time googling things on the internet or have had even the briefest of forays into marketing...