December 6, 2012

Instead of having a spring cleaning, this year think about a Christmas cleaning!

In Guatemala it is believed that the Devil runs wild during the first week or so of Advent. In highland villages and towns local men in devil costumes appear on the streets and chase the children, who flee from the strange figures! The Devil’s reign ends on December 7th with a ritual called La Quema del Diablo, or “The Burning of the Devil.” People go through their homes looking for objects they no longer want or need then pile them all together in front of their houses. After scattering firecrackers on top of the heap, they set fire to it. This act not only chases away the Devil, but also symbolizes the housecleaning of the heart done in preparation for the coming of the infant Jesus. Repairs of the home are also incorporated into this tradition.

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