The Comrie Flambeaux is an ancient fire festival - possibly dating back to pagan or Pictish times - which takes place every year on Hogmanay night (31st December) in the small village of Comrie. At midnight, long birch poles with tarred rags tied around one end - the Flambeaux - are lit and then paraded through the streets as a ceremonial cleansing of the village at the start of the new year.
There are between five and eight torches. Three are lit at midnight and as they die down, the rest are lit.
Comrie Pipe Band and villagers - some dressed in fancy costumes - follow the torchlight procession through the village.
Eventually the whole procession reassembles at the main village square, Melville Square.
The torches are then put into a bonfire and the villagers dance around.
Fancy dress prize-winners are announced and the remainder of the torches (said to contain evil spirits within) are then thrown into the River Earn.
In olden days it is said that stags heads were also carried through the village. · Traditionally, the birch flambeaux are soaked in the river for six weeks prior to the event.
Each torch needs at least ten hessian sacks wrapped around it.
Be aware that we are told that this event is oversubscribed and has grown too big for the village to handle. If you don't have friends or relations in Comrie, or you have not previously made arrangements, it may be better to look at other events to attend at Hogmanay.
- 6.30 Children’s Fancy Dress Parade
- 7.30 Fireworks at the Boulevard
- 12.00 Flambeaux Parade