GUANAJUATO – During Easter Sunday, the “burning of Judas” (Quema de Judas) usually takes place in different cities in Guanajuato, which is an Easter-time tradition in many Catholic communities where an effigy of Judas Iscariot or some trending “evil” character in the shape of a “pinata” is filled with firecrackers and burned to ashes.
For this year hundreds of people witnessed the traditional custom in the capital, when a one of these “Juditas” representing U.S. President Donald Trump, was hanged and burned during the morning hours of Sunday, April 17.
This custom has been taking place in all of Mexico for many years. Within the state of Guanajuato, the tradition has been carried out mostly in León and San Miguel de Allende, as well as in some neighborhoods in Guanajuato capital, where figures made of cardboard are burned in flames on Easter Sunday.
Despite the fact that this tradition has been gradually vanishing, since new generations don’t participate actively, in some neighborhoods like the “Calzada de Guadalupe”, “Cerro del Gallo”, “Cerro de los Leones”, “la ex-estación” and “Pueblito del Rocha”, as well as in several churches, this custom still remains strong.
The “burning” of figures made from mache papier depicting images such as devils, evil “charros” or “bad hombres” mainly symbolizes the death of Judas and the resurrection of Christ (good over evil), that’s why it takes place in Easter Sunday.
According to historians, the “burning of Judas” is related to “Las Fallas de Valencia” which is a custom from Turkey. Afterwards, this practice was held in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain).
So in Mexico it was introduced during colonnial times.
The missionaries of that time devised the “burning of Judas” as a way to represent Judas Iscariot, who betrayed and sold Jesus for thirty gold coins.
Other sources report that this century-old tradition really was born around the 7th century as a parody of the executions carried out by the Holy Office of the Inquisition.
Nowadays, dolls of hated and trend characters (such as politicians) who “betray” the people are burned every year.
This year, an image representing the wealthy tycoon and now U.S. President who promised the construction of a wall in the border in order to avoid the entrance of Mexican migrants, was burned in the city of Guanajuato.