Groups of adults, young men and children disguised as masked devils dance frenetically in penitence accompanied by the stirring clamour of drums and the shaking of maracas to protect themselves against evil spirits. At the climax of the celebration the devils surrender to the Sacrament, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.
This is a special way to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, an annual Roman Catholic holiday, in some parts of Venezuela. The origin of the festival of the Diablos Danzantes, which is best known in Yare and Chuao, lies in Spain, in the 18th century.
Dances and costumes have their own characteristics in each community, especially the papier maché masks. In Chuao they are smaller and painted with just three colours: white, black and red; while the Yare ones are more elaborate depicting demons, monsters and fantastic animals painted in every colour of the rainbow.
These festivals were recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2012.