The Wall Street Journal had a great article this weekend about the Santa Fe community's annual Zozobra event.
Artisans build a giant structure of wood and chicken wire known as Zozobra. Then citizens bring things symbolic of their troubles (legal papers, wedding dresses from failed marriages, photos of old lovers, letters and notes with their secrets — even hospital gowns) to a public "gloom tent." The evidence of all these woes is stuffed into the Zozobra.
On the night of the festival, dancers with torches set fire to the figure — a functioning marionette that writhes with agony — and everyone's worries symbolically go up in smoke.
And, to think, I was planning on selling my fire pit on Craig's List. No way!