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Top 5 World Spring Cleaning Traditions

Quema del Diablo

Not all "spring cleaning" takes place in the spring. By that I mean that for some places, the big cleaning rituals happen at other times of the year. One of the most shocking to those who don't know about it is the Quema del Diablo, which happens on December 7 each year in Guatemala. Many Guatemalans follow the Christmas traditions of caroling, decorating their houses with lights and trees, and exchanging gifts. And if you happened to visit around that time, you'd see a man in a red suit. He's not Santa Claus, though; he's the devil.

Quema del Diablo means "burning of the devil." He's believed to lurk under beds, in corners and in piles of junk. To get the nasty guy out of your house, you have to clean it thoroughly, sweeping all of your garbage outdoors into a huge pile. Some people just set the pile ablaze, while others top it with a big papier mache effigy of Satan first, dressed in a red outfit with black hair and a black beard. Some cities have communal Quema del Diablo bonfires, complete with music and fireworks. Who knew that house cleaning could end with such a party? It's all about getting rid not only of the trash and the evil that goes along with it, but finding some spiritual cleanliness before the holy holidays arrive.