La Paz Journals

Skin and Skirts: Carnival in Bolivia

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A February 2007 trip to La Paz by SeenThat

Kari Kari, Diablada, Pachamama and the Tio Photo, La Paz, Bolivia More Photos
Quote: Hot and sensuous, the Brazilian Carnival is well known; the Bolivian counterpart is enacted high on the Andean Plateau and has its own semi-puritan character.

Alasitas and Ekeko: the Abundance's Idol

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Attraction

Alasitas Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
Buy Me! Buy Me!"Is this a market or a festival?" may ask himself a traveler witnessing the Alasitas for the first time. Actually, it is both of them. The Alasitas are miniatures sold in Bolivian markets, especially in La Paz, beginning at January 24th. There is no need to rush since the festival runs well into the Carnival season. The festival name is derived from "chalayasita" an Aymara word meaning "exchange of products," and it celebra...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 24, 2009

Festividad Del Senor Del Gran Poder

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Attraction | "Festividad Del Señor Del Gran Poder"

Festividad Del Senor Del Gran Poder Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
La Paz celebrates since 1939 the "Festividad Del Señor Del Gran Poder" (Festival of the Lord of the Great Power). The festivity is centered on a cult to an image of Jesus anonymously painted in the 17th century. Much later, in 1842, a young lady called Genoveva Carrión joined a Catholic monastery (Monasterio de la Purísima Concepción) and gave the picture to it. In 1904, the monastery was reduced in size and the picture began wandering around. In 1932, a chapel aimed to keep it was constructed and the local bishop asked of two painters to erase the faces on Jesus' sides. After erasing the two faces, one of the painters wanted to improve Jesus' eyes, but the story says the paint moved his e...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 24, 2009

Festividad Del Senor Del Gran Poder
Streets of La Paz
La Paz, Bolivia

Day of the Dead

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Attraction | "El Dia de los Muertos and Todos los Santos"

Day of the Dead Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
The strangest festival in this journal, the Day of the Dead is a syncretism between an ancient local festival honoring the dead and the Christian day of All Saints. AccessThe main activities of the festival are located in the General Cemetery of La Paz, a main landmark that is readily accessible, though the arrival with public transport is difficult in those days due to the crowds. After acclimatizing to the altitude, a walk from El Prado - La Paz main avenue – to the cemetery should take around twenty minutes.Dining with Ñatitas...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 24, 2009

Day of the Dead

La Paz, Bolivia

Carnival in La Paz

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Attraction | "Skin and Skirts: Carnival in La Paz"

Kari Kari, Diablada, Pachamama and the Tio Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
The first time I arrived at La Paz it was just a few days before the Carnival. I was not aware of that until then; it was serendipity at its best: travel around until something worthwhile appears. As soon as I dropped my luggage, I was told that the cities of Oruro and La Paz offer the best versions of the Carnival in the whole country and I ran to take my first look at the event.Unplanned again, I found myself again in La Paz du...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 21, 2009

Skin and Skirts: Carnival in Bolivia

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Overview

Festivals Photo, La Paz, Bolivia
Quote:
Packed with festivals, the Bolivian calendar offers the opportunity to see at least one to every visitor. Most of them take place in the central El Prado Avenue or in the General Cemetery area and are hence readily accessible as well. The dancing groups are usually related to work unions and not to dance schools as in Brazil; that fact explains the relatively old dancers and their signs. Actually, most dancers pay for their places in the parade.Carnival: Usually in February, the Carnival in La Paz is celebrated by groups dancing the "Morenada" or the "Diablada" along the main ...Read More

About the Writer

SeenThat

SeenThat
Tel Aviv, Israel