6. Guatemala’s La Quema del Diablo
Around December 7, Guatemalans sweep their homes, collect trash from around their property and create a massive heap of refuse in the street. As a final touch, the pile is crowned with an effigy of the devil and set ablaze. And the Christmas celebrations can begin! No, this event isn’t the inspiration for the ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ song lyric. This symbolic cleansing ritual is said to expunge evil spirits and negative energy from the upcoming festivities.
(Photo courtesy of Javier Aroche)