Betraying Jesus costs Judas dearly in Nicaraguan Holy Week celebrations

Managua, Apr 14 (EFE).- Young people of the Nicaraguan town of Masatepe on Thursday dragged “Judas,” the disciple who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, through its streets in a scene performed every Holy Week.

In the festival called The Chained, residents wearing disguises such as hats and masks and acting as people of ancient Jerusalem go out to the main streets in search of the treacherous disciple, in an event that has been celebrated for more than a century in Masatepe, 48 kilometers south of Managua.

“Our role is to make Judas pay for the betrayal he committed at that time towards our Lord Jesus,” Darwin Gaitán told EFE.

Gaitán, 24, has spent more than half of his life participating in The Chained, sometimes playing Judas. However, this year he decided to be Jewish because that way he feels that he can do justice for Jesus.

The young Catholics paraded through the city, dragging “Judas” in heavy chains along the ground to the atrium of the church where they lifted him, counting 10 seconds out loud.

Judas is represented by locals who dress in lots of layers of clothes to avoid friction burns while being slid along the pavement.

While he is being towed, at least two men are also thrown on his body to increase the punishment.

“I play Judas. This is done for cultural purposes, out of devotion or by some who pay promises,” said Mario Gaitán, 15.

Although biblical texts do not refer to a violent punishment against Judas after his betrayal of Jesus, the traditionalists of The Chained said the misrepresentation is part of the hubbub of the celebration.

This tradition takes place on Good Thursday and Good Friday, where the loud noise of the chains is the predominant sound along with the shouting of participants. EFE


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