Perched on his bicycle with rum bottle for fuel, the devil glared down on those leaving Antigua for Guatemala City, several weeks before being set ablaze.
La Quema del Diablo, or the Burning of the Devil, is an annual tradition on the 7th of December in many Guatemalan towns, its origins dating back to colonial times.
A “will”, full of wit and innuendo at local politicians, is read out to hundreds of spectators followed by the torching of the devil at 6 p.m. He goes up in flames and smoke along with all the negativity of the year, lighting the way for the Christmas celebrations and a positive start to the New Year.
A crescendo of firecrackers deafen and threaten the crowds before the bomberos put out the glowing embers around the bicycle skeleton and everyone wanders away in festive spirit.
Devil with empty rum bottle.
Preparing for the torching.
Going up in Flames