Carnaval in Bolivia

 Carnaval, Carnival or Mardi Grass in Bolivia is about to begin, as in most of the Catholic Countries around the world, the celebration of the days before lent will start on  Friday, and they will last until Ash Wednesday, with parties and celebrations through out the country. Many are the adjectives for the Carnival in Bolivia. Grand, majestic, magnificent, wonderful are some of the words with which this event is described. It combines the ancient customs of each region, department, city and rural community in the country, with European traditions brought over the colony.

Oruro Carnaval (Carnaval de Oruro)

Declared by UNESCO as an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, the lavish "Carnaval de Oruro" features a vast wealth Cultural Heritage, which combines dance and music with the devotion to Our Lady of Socavón.

This expression represents the greatest folkloric shows in Bolivia, with dances such as the Devils, Moreno, Caporales, Tinkus, Llamerada, Sicuris, Incas, Antawaras, Tobas, Wacas Waca, Kullawadas, Pujllay and others, whose members, besides orureños, come from all regions of the country, as well as from abroad, to express through dance, their faith and devotion.

The “Entrada de Carnaval” (Carnaval Parade) takes place on Saturday, it’s the highlight of the Oruro Carnaval, when dancers wearing luxurious costumes will parade a long the city and spectacle of more than 50 fraternity with more than 500 participants each accompanied by large musical bands. The fiesta runs until the early hours of Sunday. “El Alba” (The Dawn) will take place during the first hours of Sunday, during Sunrise dancer and musical bands at the Socavón will salute the Virgin Mary of el Socavón, showing the skill and Bolivian musical richness all accompanied by the applauses and cheers from the attending public.

At these dates Oruro receives over 500,000 tourists, between local and foreign visitors. This event generates around $ 8 million dollars in business, for the four days of Carnaval. The Carnival of Oruro is a magnificent demonstration of pagan costumes and religious devotion. It is an amazing demonstration of folk culture, involving young and old people; without distinction of social classes or race.

Santa Cruz Carnaval

It reflects the joyous spirit of the Santa Cruz habitants. It begins one month before the Carnaval with the "pre-carnavaleras" in which all the Carnaval Groups (Comparsas) elect their Queen. A week before the carnival takes place in “mini-corso”, with the proclamation of the Carnaval Queen; witch is selected among the Comparsas Queens.

On Carnaval Saturday, from evening until dawn of Sunday of the carnival takes place in the spectacular “Corso” (Carnival Parade) with the Comparsas dancing in the streets about 300 of them. They dance through the city streets to the beat of drum bands. During the parade, public enjoy the luxury and colorful of the Comparsas costumes, impressive floats carrying the Comparsa queens.

The show reaches its pinnacle when the Carnaval Queen enters the main stage. The party continues on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, days in which people dance and play in downtown streets; playing with water, foam and paint.

The diversity of options varies according to geography and cultures of each region. No matter where you are during the Carnaval you will have a great time for sure. The Carnaval in Bolivia is a synonym for good times and party, all mixed with music and tradition.

Carnaval Dates

Se next the Carnaval dates for this year and the following:

•2011 - Carnaval date - March 4-8

•2012 - Carnaval date - February 17-21

•2013 - Carnaval date - February 8-12

•2014 - Carnaval date - March 1-4

•2015 - Carnaval date - February 13-17

•2016 - Carnaval date - February 5-9

•2017 - Carnaval date - February 24-28

•2018 - Carnaval date - February 9-13

•2019 - Carnaval date - March 1-5

•2020 - Carnaval date - February 21-25

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Fantastic article! I completely enjoy festivals whenever I travel jet lag free with jetLAGFX