According to official lore, the doom-and-gloom specter is recreated annually to restore balance to the city and its residents. In order to lure Zozobra out of hiding, the city leaders invite him to a party he believes is being held in his honor. With his enormous ego urging him on, Zozobra accepts the invitation, recognizing it as his best opportunity to invade the heart of town, destroy all happiness and rob the city of its most precious possession: hope.
Eager to embark upon his sinister plans, the account continues, Zozobra becomes disgruntled as he’s kept waiting, so he casts a spell over the children of anta Fe, turning them into his minions, the Gloomies. When Zozobra realizes he’s been duped, he lets loose the Gloomies to wreak havoc on the city, but before they can begin, a group of brave townsfolk arrive bearing torches, and call forth the Fire Spirit to vanquish him. The Gloomies are released from their trance, the crowd dances joyfully as Zozobra collapses into a smoking pile of embers, and all is well in the world again for another year.
Kinda reminds me of Bohemian Grove and the cremation of care ceremony.