2020 Got You Down? Burn Your Gloom with ZOZOBRA in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Zozobra's fiery demise fans the flames of hope for disadvantaged children

Zozobra burning in 2019

2020 has been a tough year…an anxious year…isn’t it time to let go of all that gloom?  Santa Fe, NM, has the answer –– the original burning man, Zozobra, a weird, wonderful, one-of-a-kind, 96-year-old tradition!  An eerie 50-foot tall marionette, Zozobra embodies the gloom built up through this difficult year, moaning and groaning as he battles his mortal enemy, the Fire Spirit brought to life by the collective goodwill of all who yearn for a better world.

CLICK PLAY TO WATCH: The Mythology of Zozobra

For 96 years, the City of Santa Fe has built and burned Zozobra, stuffing him from head to toe with thousands of glooms ­­–– bad habits, hurt feelings, our own failings, old love letters, divorce papers, photos, paid-off mortgages, parking tickets –– all placed on paper to go up in smoke when this New Mexico icon goes down in flaming fury.

First Zozobra Gloom Doll 1954
One of the first Zozobra Glooms 1954

Relationship gone south? Boss too bossy? Had it up to here with the virus? Whatever it is, we will burn your gloom for you!  

Or want to be a little introspective? What have you done to cause gloom for others this year? What part of you do you want to leave in the past? What are you ready to let go of so you can start anew?

Filled to the top of his gloomy head, Zozobra will burn bigger and brighter than ever because of the intense woes of 2020.  Every gloom will be printed out on paper and stuffed inside Zozobra before he burns on Friday, September 4, 2020.

Creating Zozobra Glooms for fundraising, from the Santa Fe New Mexican, 1961
Feature from the Santa Fe New Mexican, August 1967

You can also make a gift of this gloom liberation!  Share this unique tradition with friends, families, first responders who deserve a break or anyone you know who needs release from the troubles of this difficult year.  The form below lets you purchase glooms for other people by simply adding their name(s) and email address(es).  We’ll take care of the rest and we’ll send a confirmation to let your recipient know that the gift of gloom removal you’ve given them has been received and will become part of Zozobra’s smoldering ashes.

Just by submitting your glooms, you are already doing a good deed! As always, the net proceeds of the Burning of Zozobra, including this gloom-destruction program will help the Santa Fe Kiwanis fund the New Mexico nonprofits that make a better life for children.

Zozobra burns 1927

He may not know it yet, but Zozobra will be freeing you from your gloom and anxieties on Friday, September 4, 2020.  Tune in to watch him burn, televised beginning at 8 PM on KOAT Channel 7, New Mexico’s ABC affiliate, and streaming at https://www.koat.com/ so you can experience the excitement and be freed of this year’s worth of gloom.