Start off the new year by burning away the bad of 2018

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LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP -

A group of Mercer County residents started off the new year by cleansing themselves of all of the bad in 2018.

Organizers say that it is an old Scottish tradition that has been going on for 20 years in Lawrence Township. Those who attended the event wrote down some of their bad experiences of the past 12 months so that they can then throw those papers into a roaring bonfire.

It is typically held on New Year’s Eve, but rain this year pushed it to New Year’s Day.

“Saying goodbye and releasing from last year and starting fresh. A fresh start for the new year,” says Dana Morelli of Glendora.

Many say that the things that they write on their notes are personal – bad experiences that they had over the year. But many say that letting go is not that hard.

"You just get rid of what you wanna forget,” says 91-year-old Janet Bickal.

Bickal and friend Ruth Barringer say that they have attended the event longer than most. They say that they hope the bonfire also draws attention to the nearby Brearley House, an homage to a New Jersey politician.

"We need to be reminded of historic significance,” Barringer says.

Other examples of cleansing oneself for the new year including paying off debts, washing the home and banishing bad thoughts.

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