Burning the Devil in Antigua
We will “burn the devil” at the La Concepcion Barrio in Antigua once again! The paper-mache life-size figure was created once again this year by the well-known Antiguan artist, Josue Romero, and his team of five sculptors from Escuela Jocoteca Altatera. Dressed in a recycled suit, this year’s figure resembles the CICIG Commissioner (International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala), Iván Velásquez. This year the devil is devoured by two serpents representing the hungry politicians who will participate in next year’s election – that political power called a “guayaba”. The traditional satirical description always gives us a “laugh” as some truth can be found in it!
This is our 27th year of celebrating this tradition near the La Concepcion Church in Antigua and it only gets bigger and better! The neighborhood goes all out to celebrate this event right before the Virgen of La Concepcion’s procession the following day. The Christmas calendar traditionally begins with getting rid of the bad to make way for the good. This tradition goes back to colonial times. Everyone would burn paper and fireworks in front of each house. Year after year, it became a bit smoky, so Antiguans formed a committee in the 1990s to concentrate the fiesta in this neighborhood. Now everyone loves to attend the Burning of the Devil!
The committee first reads his “will” – also full of gossip and seedy satire – before torching the effigy and the music and fiesta begin! Special honors will be awarded to local residents for their true merits including our Town Crier who has been the Master of Ceremonies for 20 years! Many local musical groups and bands will perform including Melende and Sunday Friday sponsored by the Gallo Beer Company.
Another year has gone by and, this year, join us to celebrate the Burning of the Devil once again! Felices fiestas! #antiguatours