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The Old Year Dummies or Judases


[A very typical Old Year dummy]

A very typical Old Year dummy


[Politicians are often featured and then burned as symbols of the ending year.]

Politicians are often featured and then burned as symbols of the ending year.


[Some of the Judases have mobile parts, like this one that greeted passers-by with an arm motion.]

Some of the Judases have mobile parts, like this one that greeted passers-by with an arm motion.


[Local entertainers who had breakthroughs during the year are often featured as Old Years.]

Local entertainers who had breakthroughs during the year are often featured as Old Years.


[A trio of Judases hanging out outside a house.]

A trio of Judases hanging out outside a house.


[Laura en America, an international talk host show, was the model for one of the highest quality Judases we saw this season.]

Laura en America, an international talk host show, was the model for one of the highest quality Judases we saw this season.


[Look at the quality of the nails of this dummy!]

Look at the quality of the nails of this dummy!


[Even Carlos Lee, Panamainan Major Leaguer, had a Judas double this year.]

Even Carlos Lee, Panamainan Major Leaguer, had a Judas double this year.


By:

Marino Jaén Espinosa
2007-01-02

The Judases or Old Years are an ubiquitous presence all over Panama during the last two or three weeks of the year. These dummies made of old clothes and filled with dried grass and firecrackers are traditionally build by Panamanian families to simbolize the ending year. The are burn at 12:00 am on January 1st.

There are many different styles of Judases. Most are very simple and anonymous. However, some are very elaborated and made to look like well known politicians, entertainers, etc. The featuring of an Old Year that is modeled after a certain person do not necesarily means disrespect to that person. In fact, it may be only an aknowledgement of the relevance of that person during the ending year.


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