Slide Show of Burning of the Devil in Antigua Guatemala

Burning of the Devil in Antigua Guatemala

All year long he hides under the bed or in the junk piled up in the corner, casting misfortune or worse on helpless mortals. But on Wednesday, December 7, at 6 p.m. sharp, the Devil gets his comeuppance, as he is tossed out of the house along with the trash and set ablaze in the Quema del Diablo (Burning of the Devil), a tradition in many Guatemalan towns that literally sparks the beginning of the Christmas Season.

The origins of the Quema del Diablo in Guatemala can be traced to colonial times, when the well-to-do adorned the fronts of their homes with elaborate lanterns on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, explains historian Miguel Álvarez Arévalo. Unable to afford lanterns, poor denizens instead lit bonfires made of kindling and the trash from their homes. The practice over time evolved into the Quema del Diablo. (Quoted from Juan Carlos Ordoñez’s article The Devil Gets His Due in Revue Magazine—click the link to continue reading the article.)

It occurred to me very late on December 7 that perhaps this year I should do a time-lapse video of the Quema del Diablo, Burning of the Devil. However, since I have never done a time lapse video, I had no idea how to do it. So, a slide show with a few photos of the climax of the Burning of the Devil will have to do this year. I promise, I will learn how to do time lapse videos as soon as possible and I will bring you some interesting videos pretty soon. Stay tune!

Please, take you time to let me know what you think of the slide show of the Burning of the Devil in Antigua Guatemala?


© 2009 – 2016, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • It took me a while to see the differences on each picture on slideshow mode, but clicking on each of them separately made me see the dramatic crash and burn of the fallen angel, better-known as Lucifer, or the devil.

    I guess that having a community burning is better than having each household make their individual bonfires. I wonder if British people have found a way of reducing the environmental impact of Guy Fawkes day (another kind of devil).

  • sjbj

    very cool…thanks for letting us experience this at a distance.

  • Rudy :
    Never thought I will advise you on this…..

    You can easily create a timelapse movie with iMovie 09 that comes with all charmin’ iMacs and Macbooks :-). You should know that.

    • @Norman, how to make the time lapse from the images is not a problem for me. How to take the photos “correctly” so that the time lapse movie does not have flickering artifacts and the speed is correcrt… that’s where I need to experiment. 🙂

  • Erick

    La Quema del Cachudo, I remember those days when I was a kid; although it really became an excuse for people to start burning their trash out on the streets (i.e. mattresses, car tires, etc). It probably wasn’t such a great idea now that I look back on it.

    I really enjoyed the slides/pictures, brought back some excellent memories!

  • Ah, great photos indeed!!!!!! It was an experience, you should have seen us when the firecrackers were at their best, 😉

    And, great info too, ;O)


  • MO

    A la gran puchis Rudy. Every once in a while you got me searching DICTIONARY.COM for long words I never heard of before. This time you got me searching for “comeuppance”. First thing that I think of is…..esa palabrota se la invento el señor Rudy. But as always, you’re legit.

    Anyway, I remember this tradition as a kid…it was so much fun. It was the un-official start of the Christmas / Holiday bonanza.

  • MO

    I can’t help to wonder why would we want to burn the devil?!? I thought hell was suppose to be a huge fire pit. I bet the devil is laughing his a$$ off while shaking his horny head saying “dumb humans”.

    I think we should drown him instead. I think I will start the “The drowning of the Devil” tradition on 12/9.

  • For some reason, in my family every celebration is associated with food, and not any food but the food that is specially prepared for the specific day. In this case, buñuelos con miel and ponche de frutas. I enjoyed the slide show as well as the “the hell with it!” post.

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