Zozobra time is here. In Santa Fe, locals, especially, look forward to the spectacle of an artistically designed multi-story high puppet going up in flames. Why? Well one would have to ask Will Schuster, the Santa Fe artist who started the whole thing. Zozobra was created in a burst of 1920’s campy creativity. It has little to do with the rest of “Fiesta,” which has cultural and historic roots with the Hispanic communities of Santa Fe.
So what is Zozobra all about? Well it is a way of ridding yourself of your past year’s bad experiences, worries and problems. Your “doom and gloom,” in writing, is placed inside the puppet. When he goes up in smoke, so do your negative thoughts, experiences and worries.
The burning of Zozobra has a cult following. There are generations of Santa Feans who wouldn’t think of missing the fire dancers, the groaning of “Old Man Gloom,” and the grand finale pyrotechnics. Don’t try to understand it, just enjoy the “happening.”
Zozobra is staged each year by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe, as a fiery and exciting kick-off to the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe.
Not to fear, if you are not in Santa Fe (or don’t want to brave the crowds at Marcy Park, you now have an option). This year, for the first time ever, visitors can submit their worries and watch them burn online with the Burning of Virtual Zozobra!
You’ll find a likeness of Zozobra at www.santafe.org/Viva_Santa_Fe/. This desktop Zozobra provides those who cannot attend the event the opportunity to virtually send worries up in smoke, while creating a written version to be stuffed into Zozobra’s head and burned for real during the evening’s main event on September 5th.
I’ve already sent my worry off to Zozobra… gone, up in smoke!
More information is available at http://santafe.org/Viva_Santa_Fe/.