“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Santa Fe in Santa Fe County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)


— Commemorative Walkway Park —

1926 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 18, 2014
1. 1926 Marker
Inscription.  Every year since 1926, when Will Shuster and Jacques Cartier created the image, Santa Fe and friends have been able to release their ties to depression, gloom and uncertainty by burning a symbol of these misfortunes . . . Zozobra! The burning of the 40 foot monster marks the beginning of the Fiesta de Santa Fe and since 1963 the Downtown Kiwanis Club has been responsible for the creation, construction and staging of the the temporary death of Old Man Gloom.
Erected 1986 by the Kiwanis Club. (Marker Number 14.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentNotable Events. A significant historical year for this entry is 1926.
Location. 35° 41.373′ N, 105° 55.985′ W. Marker is in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in Santa Fe County. Marker can be reached from Paseo de Peralta near Otero Street. It is in Hillside Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Santa Fe NM 87501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1945 (here, next to this marker); 1960 (here, next to this marker); 1912 (here, next to this marker); 1976
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(here, next to this marker); 1982 (here, next to this marker); 1985 (here, next to this marker); To the Future (here, next to this marker); 1862 (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Fe.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This is a list of all 21 markers on Santa Fe’s Commemorative Walkway at Hillside Park. There is a link on the list to a map of all markers on the walkway.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia Entry for Zozobra. “Zozobra means ‘anxiety’ in Spanish.” “Zozobra (‘Old Man Gloom’) is a giant marionette effigy that is built and burned every autumn during Fiestas de Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico, usually during the second week of September. As his name suggests, he embodies gloom; by burning him, people destroy the worries and troubles of the previous year in the flames. Anyone with an excess of gloom is encouraged to write down the nature of his or her gloom on a slip of paper and leave it in the ‘gloom box’ found in the offices of the Santa Fe Reporter in the weeks leading up to the burn. Many people put legal papers in the gloom
Markers 13 through 20 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 18, 2014
2. Markers 13 through 20
This tablet is the second from the right.
box as well. At the festival the papers from the gloom box are placed at Zozobra’s feet to be burned alongside him.

“Fiestas de Santa Fe has been held since 1712 to celebrate the Spanish retaking of the city in 1692 by Don Diego de Vargas from the Pueblo tribes who had occupied the city since the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. The burning of Zozobra dates from 1924. Santa Fe artist and marionette maker Gustave Baumann came up with the idea of creating the effigy, also called Old Man Gloom, and the ritual burning; and then conspired with his friend William Howard Shuster, Jr. to burn the first Zozobra. ... Baumann’s idea might have been influenced by Mexican cartonería (papier-mâché sculpture), especially the effigies exploded during the burning of Judas that takes place on Holy Saturday or New Year’s Eve, as a way of ridding oneself or one’s community of evil.” (Submitted on August 15, 2014.) 

2. Burning of Zozobra 2012.
This well-edited 4½ minute video was posted on YouTube by Luke Fitch (Submitted on August 15, 2014.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 496 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 15, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Jun. 6, 2023