World's Strangest Holiday Traditions
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La Quema del Diablo, Guatemala
This ceremonial “Burning of the Devil” is a prelude to the
Guatemalan Christmas and probably a remnant from pre-Christian Mayan days.
Because the devil and other evil spirits are believed to dwell in the dark,
dirty corners of your home, residents are supposed to sweep up, collect
garbage, and amass everything in a huge pile outside. After an effigy of the
devil is placed on top, the whole thing is lit on fire, ensuring a devil-free
Christmas season for all who participate.