Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Quema del diablo

The Burning of the Devil.

This is a Guatemalan holiday that represents the ridding of all past things and preparations for the incoming Christmas and New Year.

I got this information from

According to them: Back then, it all started with a good house cleaning, which symbolized the elimination of evil and old past events, almost like a Catholic confession, purging their souls and home.

The cleaning included getting rid of old, useless stuff that was put outside on the street, sometimes along with what the neighbors had taken out, all in the biggest pile possible. That way, they were sure the devil was driven out of the house. Once all this was done, the fun part began. All that junk was set on fire, purifying all evil, and sending it back to where it belonged.

Nowadays, it is almost the same thing. People pile up whatever they want to get rid of and set it on fire. Fireworks for the kids, maybe a little liquor for the grown-ups and a "Diablo" piñata that must be incinerated (if children are present, the piñata would be put in the blaze after they whack it, whether it contains candy or not).

There have been some discussion in the last years about banning the burning because of the air polluting and accidents it causes. This issue has caused some concern and fewer fires are seen. Now it seems the celebration is limited to fireworks, the piñata and some drinking.


Sounds like a good idea to me. I'll post Gaby's punch recipe later. Debby and I had talked about making it together and finding a pinata and having our own celebration. But I can't even go to the grocery store for the ingredients - like the Publix in Montgomery is going to have plantains and papaya - not to mention a Diablo pinata. But they might. You never know. Gaby says I can substitute some of the fruits, so I'll see what I can put together once I can function again. I can tell a little improvement from yesterday.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe day. I'll expect pictures tomorrow.


  1. Do you know some people burns high politics figures piñatas? hahahaha it is very funny.
    I hope to find some pics of this later.

  2. I would like a pinata of a computer this morning to burn. Maybe it would make me feel better since my work computer is possessed.

  3. I got home from work about 30 minutes ago, and I had to work 30 minutes overtime tonight (yes, it's very late here...2AM). Due to freezing fog and extremely icey roads, I had to drive very, very slow; and there were very few cars and trucks out there driving with me.
    But, as I was driving on 4-lane expressway 84, I came upon a HUGE fire, basically on the side of this 4-lane road, not far from the emergency lane (I was only driving 45 miles per hour at this time, so I know what I saw!). There was one car pulled off to the side near the fire (a family stationwagon), and the large fire was contained very neatly & nicely. I passed the fire at approximately 1:00AM, and this is very, very late for anyone to be burning anything! Also, I could not tell WHAT materials exactly it was that they were burning.
    Daddy says that west Texans only burn for agricultural reasons and that they NEVER, EVER burn trash out here. With there being a large Latino population out here in west Texas, I believe that it's safe to GUESS that this MIGHT have been someone celebrating "Quema del Diablo".
    When I say that the HUGE, contained fire was basically right on the side of the 4-lane expressway, I'm not exaggerating in any way. I may be guessing completely wrong about the burning tradition for the holiday, but I'd like to think that I saw "The Burning of the Devil" tonight on my way home from work, right here in Texas. Just thought I'd share my sighting with the rest of you. I'm heading to bed now to get some sleep. Hope all's well with everyone!
    Love to all,

  4. I'd rather believe it was a happy burning rather than maybe aother car. Things you'll never know!