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Burning of Judas Iscariot

This custom is sometimes enacted on the evening of Kali Paraskevi (Good Friday) , simultaneously with the bearing of the Epitafios through the streets, though it was observed by this author on the island of Sifnos in 1993, on the Sunday evening after the midday Easter feast, with music following it.

For this ritual, an effigy of Judas Iscariot is fashioned, somewhat like a scarecrow, of old rags stuffed into clothing with a knob-like 'head', the man like figure then affixed to a long pole and borne through the streets by a team of young men. At some point the effigy is set afire and there is a great din of firecrackers, as after (during) the midnight mass (Anastasis).

Though criticized by some as an anti-semitic ritual, and said to be known in some places in Greece as 'The Burning of the Jew', it is possible that those doing the translating of the ritual title are confusing the Greek word for Judas (Ioudhas-pronounced Yoo-dhas), with the Greek word for Jew (Ioudhaios-pronounced Yoo-dhay-ose). On the other hand, it would not be surprising if the ritual were indeed anti-semitic, as anti-semitism continues to exists in Greece although after the Nazi executions of WW II many fewer Jews exist in Greece.