Bolivian Holidays are a central part of life in Bolivia, home to some of
the most sacred shrines and a large population of descendants
of the Inca. 70% of the population still lives according
to traditional ways, so this is a place that is alive
with festival and ceremony.
All year round festivals of all kinds are taking place
in Bolivia. Achocalla is an
interesting festival that is best enjoyed at the smaller
towns and villages of Sucre and
Cochabamba. This is a celebration of heritage and traditional
music and folklore that is on display during Bolivian
Carnival in Bolivia
Carnival in Bolivia
Carnival in February is not to be missed - Santa Cruz
and Oruro provide the best displays for this occasion.
A colorful tropical parade is what you can expect in Santa
Cruz, while Oruro's version of Carnival is of an unmistakably
Andean flavor and is a vibrant declaration of Bolivian
Semana Santa is in April, and this week is the sacred
week, as its name suggests in Spanish. On Good Friday,
hundreds of pilgrims arrive at Cochacamba on foot after
walking from La Paz. The festival
of el Gran Poder (the Great Power) is a unique bachannal
affair similar to Carnival with its grand processions,
but with a religious color. The festival whom it is dedicated
to, Senor el Gran Poder (Mister Great Power) is none other
than Jesus himself.
Santisima Trinidad, San Antonio, and Corpus Christie
are all celebrated in the month of June. Yet it the midst
of these catholic holidays is a celebration that will
capture your interest, and you will not find anything
similar to it anywhere in South America.
This elaborate ritual of Inti Raymi, or the solemn feast
of the sun, of which some parts of are modified, was bought
back to life about half a century ago and is recreated
every year at the summer equinox. This Bolivian holiday
is based on a ritual that dates back thousands of years.
This ceremony was as important to the Inca was as the
Mayan's human sacrifices that their fierce gods drove
Bolivian culture is distinct, and the processions that
one sees on religious holidays are of a recurring theme
for a reason. Take a front seat and witness all the very
different processions, such as Inti Raymi's Virgins of
the Sun, who, in their elaborate costume, also savor the
ritual and public pomp of such an event.
According to Bolivia's historic tradition, a number of
celebrations are in honor of certain Saints. July sees
the processions and dances of Patron Saint of Moxos. Beni
also sees in August the celebration for San Joaquin, with
its bullfights and games.
At these processions, dancing is always present, and
you can experience some of the most authentic expressions
of culture at these celebrations. In Bolivia music is
still played in the old ways, and the reed flutes and
llama skin drums provide an accompaniment to dancing and
procession that can only be described as purely authentic.
Enjoy the Bolivian music, watch as the bright kaleidoscope
of colors dances past you, and marvel at the richness
of the Bolivian spirit.