Sock-Burning Ceremony Sees in Spring 2010

A sock-burning ceremony is how sailors in the American port of Annapolis mark the beginning of spring, which arrived on Saturday in the northern hemisphere.

The socks are burnt in Annapolis to herald the spring season.

Call it what you like – the vernal equinox, the Spring equinox, or merely Saturday – March 20 marks the first day of Spring for folks in the northern hemisphere.

The toe-tally bizarre tradition began in the mid 1980s thanks to Bob Turner, who managed the Annapolis Yacht Yard.

“He spent winters working on OPBs – other peoples’ boats,” Jeff Holland, the director of the Annapolis Maritime Museum, explains. “At winter’s end, Captain Turner would end up with socks home to a variety of debris and dried varnishes and fiberglass goop. “

“One day, which happened to be the Spring equinox, he shed his socks, headed out onto the pier with a paint-roller tray, put the socks in and doused them lighter fluid, and tossed in a match,” he added.

Now the Annapolis Maritime Museum holds an annual Sock Burning Ceremony (check the video below after the jump). It usually attracts hundreds of people, who torch their socks, drink wine, eat oysters and generally look forward to working on boat decks without the need to wear socks.

“There’s a whole industry of people who work all winter long on people’s boats so that they’ll be in shape for their owners to go out and play all summer,'” said Mr. Holland. [via Metro (UK) and CSMonitor]

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