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The Burning of the Devil


The devil in La Antigua Guatemala. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite
The devil in La Antigua Guatemala. Photo: Santiago Billy/Comvite

Every December 7th, right before the day of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, it is quite common for Guatemalans to purify their homes and spirits by burning the devil. Somewhat literally. The way this is done is by buying a devil-shaped piñata, putting it outside along with a bunch of trash, and setting the whole thing ablaze at precisely 6pm. Some people go a little further and toss in a bunch of fireworks just to make the whole thing a little bit more dramatic.

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