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Northerner
Monday, August 14th, 2006, 01:59 AM
by DIANE MACLEAN

EVERY year on the second Friday of August, during the Ferry Fair, a strange spectacle can be seen walking round the town of South Queensferry, West Lothian. What appears to be an accident between a man, a big jar of honey and a gorse bush wanders round and round the streets collecting money and drinking whisky. It could only happen in Scotland.

The Burryman is an ancient tradition, dating back at least 900 years, and is said to bring luck to the yearly fair. During the day, a local man is dressed in a full body costume made of flannel, before completely covering himself in burrs (the hooked fruits of Arctium Lappa and Arctium Minus, to be precise). The Burryman must collect all these burrs himself, as well as flowers and ferns to decorate his costume. Once covered in his Arctium suit, the Burryman finishes off the ensemble with a flower-covered bowler hat, a flag cummerbund and two staves of flowers. It is a sight to be seen.

Read Article (http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=609&id=1145272006)

Gagnraad
Monday, August 14th, 2006, 02:19 PM
Great post.


But what is the origin of this tradition?

Gorm the Old
Monday, August 14th, 2006, 03:40 PM
Well, I'm not sure that it could occur only in Scotland. England is noted for the survival of eccentric and bizarre customs also. I shudder at the thought of how hot that outfit must be at any time of the year. The poor fellow must be sweltering in it...and to endure it for a whole day !

I don't see what such a custom would have to do with the "fruits of the sea", so I tend to accept the Green Man hypothesis. Surely, the Burryman is a forest figure, in no way connected with the sea.

Northerner
Monday, August 14th, 2006, 08:15 PM
I don't see what such a custom would have to do with the "fruits of the sea", so I tend to accept the Green Man hypothesis. Surely, the Burryman is a forest figure, in no way connected with the sea.

I completely agree; the Burryman is another incarnation of the Green Man.