Managua, Nov 12 (EFE).- Nicaragua’s Masaya department celebrated its popular Los Aguizotes festival on Friday night as people poured onto the streets dressed as scary ghosts, devils, headless men and terrifying creatures from the country’s ancestral legends.
Masaya city witnessed hundreds of ghostly characters dancing to music as they lit up the streets with their candles, torches and hand-crafted oil lamps in celebration of their annual tradition.
Los Aguizotes is held on the last Friday of October; however, this year it was moved to the second week of November due to last weekend’s presidential election in the Central American country.
The word Aguizote comes from the Nahuatl Indian words Agui, meaning water, and Zote, meaning horror, so that Aguizotes means “horrors by the water.”
Characters from various Nicaraguan legends fill the streets, such as La Llorona (the tearful one), a suffering woman searching for her lost children, and others including a headless priest, a widow wearing a black veil and a red devil.
There are also carts pulled by skeletal oxen and driven by spirits, all representing the myths and legends of this Central American country.
Participants in this procession in the dark of night wear terrifying costumes and grotesque masks made by local artisans and do their best to instill terror among visitors.
Some people believe that the night of Los Aguizotes is a festival of satanic worship, while others see it as nothing but popular tradition.
However, beyond the attempts at spreading horror on the streets, most agree that Los Aguizotes is one of the most joyful processions in Nicaragua.
Los Aguizotes has been held since 1976 as a part of the feast of St. Jerome, the patron saint of Masaya, which runs from September to December — the country’s longest religious festival. EFE