Arts & Entertainment

Guatemala’s centuries-old ‘Burning of the Devil’ takes on 2023 twist

Guatemala City, Dec 7 (EFE).- Thousands of Guatemalans on Thursday celebrated the centuries-old tradition, the Burning of the Devil, which some creatively used this year to protest against officials accused of trying to reverse the 2023 election results.

“Burning of the Devil is a popular tradition and on this occasion we use it to express our discomfort over recent political events,” a person wearing a devil mask who preferred to remain anonymous told EFE in the Arrivillaga neighborhood of Guatemala City.

The residents took three weeks to assemble a 5-meter high devil piñata with a female silhouette representing the country’s attorney general, Consuelo Porras Argueta, accused nationally and internationally of trying to reverse the electoral results.

“The young people decided that the devil of this edition had to express the unrest that is affecting the people of Guatemala,” said the man who leads a group of 15 people who built the piñata.

According to the Catholic vision, the tradition dates back to the announcement of the triumph of the Virgin of Concepción over Satan, which is remembered with large bonfires and fireworks.

Likewise, some Guatemalan historians link the celebration to the time of Spanish colonization, when large luminaries with fire were made for some religious festivities.

This particular tradition united dozens of other families in various neighborhoods of the capital, who also accompanied the Burning of the Devil piñatas with pyrotechnics.

All the devils are burned when the clock strikes 6 pm, and the roar of rockets and smoke takes over the streets.

During Thursday, merchants offered a variety of devil piñatas, ranging from 30 centimeters in height to 3 meters, others personalized with the faces of political figures such as President Alejandro Giammattei. EFE


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