Dancing devils at a religious festival designed to commemorate the triumph of good over evil? What?! It might sound like Satan’s sidekicks have stolen the show, but the Diablos Danzantes del Yare (Dancing Devils of Yare) celebrate the symbolic chasing away of evil spirits and purifying the community, a ritual so full of frenzied passion it’s become the biggest festival in Venezuela.
Celebrated throughout the central coast regions, the festival sees locals dressing up in fiery-coloured, elaborately embroidered costumes and fierce devil masks. Dances are performed mostly by men, with groups strutting through the streets with crucifixes, rosary beads and maracas to ward off evil spirits as they make their way to church. Here, the devils surrender in the final act of good triumphing over evil. Dancing with the devil has never been so exciting.
Fly to Simón Bolívar Airport in Maiquetía, and from there it’s a one-and-a-half-hour drive to San Francisco de Yare.
Like so many good, pure and holy experiences in life, this is absolutely free.