Sun, Apr 05, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Devils take center stage at Ecuador Good Friday event

AFP, ALANGASM, Ecuador

Good Friday processions usually see Catholic worshipers focus on the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, but in one town in Ecuador it is the devil who takes center stage.

In the central Andean town of Alangasi, just south of Quito, 24 celebrants paint themselves red, don devilish masks and parade through the streets while carrying pornographic magazines, phallic symbols and wads of cash to symbolize tempting the faithful.

Children scream in terror and hide behind their parents as the red demons romp through the town.

While the ghoulish figures maraud, actors dressed up as Jesus Christ and Roman soldiers also walk the streets, as well as men carrying huge cones on their heads — up to seven meters tall — to represent their grief over the death of Jesus Christ.

Priest Cesar Arias said the devils are an “expression of popular religiosity” that “represent the struggle between good and evil.”

However, he said that “Jesus has taken a back seat,” and that the devils had stolen the show.

The devils are “trying to stop us from hearing the word of God,” local resident and devout Catholic Jose Males said.

The festivities run through Easter Sunday, when locals celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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