Zacatecas Stories and Tips

Quema de Judas

Quema de Judas Photo, Zacatecas, Mexico

Burning of Judas is an Easter tradition. People gather at a central spot and effigies of Judas are burnt, publicly. Though it seems planned by the city, it is not. In Zacatecas, it is organized by a group of communicators who help promote themselves to attract tourism (a local radio station -Estereo Plata- leads the way). The rest is the product of collective imagination. The will of the burnt “Judas”, usually a politician, is read to symbolize the deeds he will have to accomplish while in Purgatory. The will consists of last minute repentance instructions. Everybody pokes fun at this otherwise cryptic tradition originating in Orthodox Catholicism. A more festive Burning of the Judas takes place in Jerez, same day, Easter Saturday. Jerez is only an hour from Zacatecas. You may even attend both, in the same trip.

Wake up early so you can secure a good place from which to enjoy this event. If you arrive late you will be too far away to hear the reading of the wills. The various businesses hang gifts alongside the Effigies, so when they burn the gifts fall for the crowd to catch.

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