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Ottery Saint Mary Tar Barrels

King James I at the Tower of London

Bonfire night on the 5th November in the UK celebrates the failed assassination attempt on King James I (as seen above) in 1605.

Normally this involves bonfires and fireworks, but the people of Ottery Saint Mary in Devon hold onto a more dramatic tradition. Wooden barrels are filled with tar and set alight. Once the barrels are ablaze they are carried on the backs of townspeople who charge straight through the large crowds that gather to watch the spectacle, forcing them to dive out of the path of the blazing barrels.

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