Friday, March 19, 2010

Burning of the Socks

The burning of the socks is a spring ritual for the boating community of Annapolis, Maryland. This event began 34 years ago in the Annapolis Sailyard and has become a traditional among many boating communities around the country.

Photo by Matthew S. Gunby, MSNBC

Each year folks gather to burn their socks in celebration of the start of a sockless season. It's a tradition to read the following poem...

Ode to the Sock Burners
By Jefferson Holland, Poet Laureate of Eastport, 1995

Them Eastport boys got an odd tradition
When the sun swings to its Equinoxical position,
They build a little fire down along the docks,
They doff their shoes and they burn their winter socks.

Yes, they burn their socks at the Equinox;
You might think that’s peculiar, but I think it’s not,
See, they’re the same socks they put on last fall,
And they never took ‘em off to wash ‘em, not at all…

So they burn their socks at the Equinox
In a little ol’ fire burning nice and hot.
Some think incineration is the only solution,
‘Cause washin’ ‘em contributes to the Chesapeake’s pollution.

Through the spring and the summer and into the fall,
They go around not wearin’ any socks at all,
Just stinky bare feet stuck in old deck shoes,
Whether out on the water or sippin’ on a brew.

So if you sail into the Harbor on the 20th of March,
And you smell a smell like Limburger sauteed with laundry starch,
You’ll know you’re downwind of the Eastport docks
Where they’re burning their socks for the Equinox.

I don't wear socks all winter unless I am running or wearing boots. I have become pretty familiar with people staring at my feet or asking me, wear are your socks? Make sure you don't get caught wearing socks at the Equinox...Welcome Spring!


Seersucker Scrapper said...

I LOVE this!! We are pretty much a sockless family and can't wait until the warmer weather. We may have to start this ritual in our family.

Anonymous said...

Being Annapolitans, we have been to lots of weddings and special events in town where the dress code is "Annapolis Casual" or "Annapolis Dress". In a nutshell, this means "No Socks" :)

Pink Champagne said...

Such a cute tradition. :) Hooray for the coming of boating season and sockless weather!

Trish said...

Love this tradition! I too have been to two weddings that on the invitation "Annapolis Casual" was listed as the dress code. :) So fun! YAY for boating season and sandals! XO

Annie said...

Girl, I am so with you - I HATE socks and shoes. I'd be so happy to wear flops every day of the week! Similarly, I don't like wearing jackets either. They are such a pain! :) Enjoy your weekend!

alanna said...

what a cool idea!! i've never heard of this before but it's crazy!! i never wear socks unless i'm working out either :) (okay, and at work...combat boots are YUCK with no socks!)

jenna @ alittlebleu said...

haha this is so fun! :) great idea!

JRS said...

Very nice! I employ the sans-sock look as frequently as possible.

Black Labs and Lilly said...

Such a cute tradition! I don't really wear socks in the winter unless with boots or when I am running, they just don't look great with flats in my opinion!

Lily Lemontree said...

Amen to the burning of the socks! Such a cute tradition, what a great way to signal the start of spring, hope you have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Any recommendations for day-trip places or activities in Annapolis? My girlfriend and I are considering going this weekend. Thanks, love the blog.

Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore said...

Pusser's is a fun place to have lunch and you can sit by the water.
You could always tour the naval academy or see if they have any lax games.
Have a great time and enjoy the weather! xx

the pink prep said...

so cute! and as much as i would like to burn mine (i ditched them today) i fear, but will not say too loudly, that the spring-like weather in boston is nothing more than a spring tease. I best keep my socks nearby!
happy spring!

jess said...

Because the Annapolis Maritime Museum is temporarily closed for repairs, the official sock burning will return to Annapolis Sailyard (326 First St.) where it began 34 years ago. The celebration, a low-key, unplanned thing, actually will start at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and involve sock burning and the quaffing of beverages you bring yourself.

EntertainingMom said...

I'm like you. No socks no where no how unless I am wearing running shoes or boots... even if it's -5 degrees outside!!!

Fun celebration!

Kerry said...

I love this! I also love your flats in the first picture- so cute! So glad the warmer weather is coming and I can pull out my Sperrys and Jack Rogers! Hope you had a great weekend! xoxo

QueenBeeSwain said...

I had no idea about this tradition, thank you for keeping me in the loop on all things nautical!