The traditional procession of “The chained” in Masatepe

The town of Masatepe woke up this Thursday dragging Judas Iscariot through all its streets, the disciple who betrayed Jesus for thirty silver coins, in a scene that is performed by hundreds of young Nicaraguans every Holy Week.

The Jews of ancient Jerusalem go out to the main streets in search of the treacherous disciple, disguised in period clothing, multicolored hats, masks, stockings and skirts, in a festival called “The Chained Ones”, which has been celebrated for more than a year. century in Masatepe, located 48 kilometers south of Managua.

The traditional procession of "The chained" in Masatepe
The traditional procession of "The chained" in Masatepe

“So our role is to make Judas pay for the betrayal he committed at that time towards our Lord Jesus,” Darwin Gaitán explained to Efe.

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Gaitán, 24 years old, has spent more than half his life participating in “The Chained Ones”, sometimes playing Judas. However, this year he decided to be Jewish because that way he feels that he can do justice for Jesus Christ.

The young Catholics paraded through the city dragging the heavy chains, of regular size and thickness, with which they tie and pull Judas on the ground, until they brought him up to the atrium of the church where they lifted him while they counted, out loud, 10 seconds.

The traditional procession of "The chained" in Masatepe
The traditional procession of "The chained" in Masatepe

Immediately afterwards, the apostle is always carried on the ground, until he reaches the town cemetery to “hang” him on a tree, Efe found during a tour.

For fun, to pay a promise or by tradition, the disciple of Judas is represented by several locals who dress in double trousers, shirts, thick jackets and waterproof suits to avoid friction burns while being slid along the pavement.

While Judas advances, towed by the crowd, at least two men are also thrown on his body to increase the punishment.

“I play Judas. This is done for cultural purposes, out of devotion or by some who pay promises”, says Mario Gaitán, 15 years old, 7 of whom he has dedicated to participating in the ‘judea’ as payment for a promise.

The traditional procession of "The chained" in Masatepe
The traditional procession of "The chained" in Masatepe

Although in the biblical texts they do not refer to a violent punishment of Judas after his betrayal of Jesus Christ, the traditionalists of “The Chained Ones” affirm that the misrepresentation is part of the hubbub of the celebration.

As part of the tradition, some families from Masatepe distribute chicha, a drink made from corn, to all the participants of “Los Enchainados”.

This tradition takes place on Good Thursday and Good Friday, where the raucous noise of the chains is the predominant sound along with the euphoric shouts of the participants.



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