When the devil comes to Santa Fe for Las Posadas every winter, he makes sure to pack special extra-warm asbestos underwear. Las Posadas, translated as “the inns,” is a traditional pageant portraying the efforts of Joseph and the pregnant Mary to find shelter. Their pilgrimage takes them in a circuit around the Santa Fe Plaza, accompanied by a donkey and a supportive crowd of well-wishers, while a series of devils — three this year — heckle them and send them on their way from various downtown rooftops. Eventually, Mary and Joseph find sanctuary at the Palace of the Governors, and celebrants, including the devils, can drink cider and sing carols around a bonfire.
To advance this year’s event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, and in the interests of balanced journalism, it only seemed fair to elicit the devils’ perspectives on the event. One of the three was surprisingly easy to track down. There was no need to follow hoof prints through the snow or to intone, “Satan, I summon thee!” He was readily discovered at a desk in the offices of The New Mexican, blending in perfectly. Once his true identity was uncovered, this particular devil was more than eager to toot his own horn(s).
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