‘Burning of the Jews’ Marks Easter in Mexican Village

Filed in Gather News Channel by on April 10, 2012 0 Comments

A backwards town in rural Mexico celebrates the Easter holiday each year with the “Burning of the Jews,” a wacky custom which is now international news.

During Holy Week, denizens of the Chiapas town of Coita create effigies representing Judas Iscariot, the disciple who sold out Jesus. The figures are then placed around town, where they serve to remind the villagers of Judas’s betrayal.

But wait, there’s more. The finale comes on Easter, when the Jewish figures are paraded through the streets. Children collect donations for flammable materials, the fake Judases are torched, and people eat a corn treat made with cocoa.

And, you thought believing in the Easter bunny is silly. Sure, it’s easy to mock the ignorance of the people who celebrate the “Burning of the Jews.” It’s even reminiscent of a brilliant scene from Sasha Baron Cohen’s satirical movie, Borat.

This is life imitating art, but many people around the world aren’t laughing. Coita is in southern Mexico, near Guatemala, and it’s safe to assume education isn’t a high priority there. Should the “Burning of the Jews” be banned?

Still of Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

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