“The Burning of Judas”, a Colorful Deep-Rooted Religious Culture Tradition in Guanacaste

    Many generations have passed on this Christian ritual

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    The celebration of the Burning of Judas takes place on the Saturday of glory after noon; It is a traditional activity that several communities preserve to this day, where a group of locals plan to make a doll called Judas and made of rags, which is then placed in the center of the square, ready for hanging. A series of mischief is done to the Judas doll, such as riding it around the town, dancing with it, taking it for a walk through certain popular places, putting it in the canteen, etc.

    From Holy Thursday, they pass through the neighborhood in a parade with Judas, in order to ask the neighbors for liquor to distribute during the tour among those who participate in this mundane tradition. In addition, it is customary during the night of Good Friday to steal various objects such as chairs, commercial signs, carts, cows, calves, horses, dogs, parrots, buses, cars that have been left badly parked, motorcycles, bicycles, etc. farm tools and take them to sleep in the center of the community soccer field.

    Easter tradition

    Afterward, it is customary to make a WILL, which is sometimes a complete literary and folkloric work of art, where all the objects that were “stolen” are recorded, and the funniest situations that have been evident in recent months in the community are commemorated, throughout the night and early morning of the robberies. Subsequently, the owners of the “stolen” items come to remove their belongings and give a donation to the Church of the place. This activity ends until Judas is burned, on Easter Sunday at the end of the morning mass, with the expectation of all the faithful who come to end the Holy Week celebrations with this burning of Judas.

    Biblical background

    This obscure biblical character reminds us of so many JUDAS who sold their people and their community for 30 silver coins. It makes us present to those who do not see beyond the monetary interest when they do any business for the community and are capable of betraying their loved ones for a handful of coins or a position in the Government, for which everything becomes an object of robbery and mockery, everything has a price and the people in the end proclaim in their will the shame of those who turned their backs on them when they needed it most.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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