24: San Bartolomé de Huayco. Dates vary. In El Alto dancers commemorate the Virgin with processions and dance competitions. The best festivities are held in Copacabana where hundreds of pilgrims arrive on foot from La Paz on Good Friday. Military parades and marching bands. This is one of the largest religious festivals to take place in Bolivia. Inhabitants of San Ignacio de Velasco emulate the soldiers that accompanied Christ to the Calvary on Good Friday. Bolivian culture has been influenced by over 30 native ethnic groups and numerous immigrant (foreign) cultures and each has contributed its own beliefs and lifestyles to the potpourri of Bolivian customs and traditions. Taking place at the beginning of February each year, this raucous festival pays homage to one of Bolivia’s most sacred Catholic statues, the Virgen de la Candelaria (Our Lady of Copacabana). 13 in Capinota. 8 Viacha.- Bullfights, folkloric dances, about 12 miles from the city of La Paz, on the altiplano. Also takes place in small towns throughout the departments of Chuquisaca and Cochabamba. Day of the Indian. Luzmilla Patiño Folklore Festival, held every two years (next one should be in 2008). Yotala. Held during the first week of October in Viacha (La Paz), Quillacollo, Tarata and Morochata (Cochabamba), Tarija (Tarija), Warnes (Santa Cruz), Tarabuco (Chuquisaca), Huayllas (Oruro), and other places across Bolivia, this celebration for the Virgin of the Rosary includes mass, processions, music, fireworks, and dancing. Flowers and garlands are placed on the tombstones and tables are set with a place for the spirit of the deceased. Tiwanaku. 21 San Joaquín. 15 Llallagua - Virgen de la Asunción. Famous for it's Firewalkers on San Juan night is the little town of This is the largest Carnival celebration in Bolivia. An agricultural fair is held on Palm Sunday ( Domingo de Ramos) in El Alto. Grapes, wine and other spirits made from grapes are sold. Folkloric groups, processions and mass. 8 San Juan de Dios. If you don't have an account yet, make one here. Viacha (La Paz), Sucre (Chuquisaca) and Vallegrande (Santa Cruz). Easter. August/September – Yacuiba. All Saints/All Souls Day. The most important festival of the year in Beni. Animals, fruits and vegetables are sold, as well as traditional foods. 19 San José. Festival with typical food and drinks, and singing competitions. 16 Anniversary of the Department of La Paz. Painting, music, literature, theater, cinema, and the participation of ethnic groups as well as activities related to contemporary art and pop culture in artists and groups from many countries participate. The town is decorated with fruit, miniatures of condors, and small fish made from bread. Enjoy typical Tarijan food at this religious festival or participate in the pilgrimages, processions, or Catholic mass. Our hundreds of Bolivian traditions would be difficult to summarize on a single page. Achocalla. Departmental anniversary involving civic functions and parades as well as other celebrations to honor Santa Cruz. Another La Paz entrada which is a little more family-friendly than the Gran Poder, Entrada Universitaria is performed entirely by university students and doesn’t have any religious themes. On June 21 every year, a horde of revelers travel two hours by bus from La Paz to the sacred ruins of Tiwanaku to celebrate the occasion. Virgen de la Candelaria. Alasitas is a bizarre and intriguing festival where indigenous Bolivians flock to La Paz from surrounding areas to purchase miniature replicas of the things they desire in the coming year. Celebration of folkloric dances and bullfights. 28: San Agustín. 8 Sucre. 14 Departmental anniversary. Read about them here. 10 Ephemeredes of Oruro. This small and visually underwhelming statue is so revered, it had an entire church built to house it – a worthwhile investment considering it is believed to have saved the lives of doomed fisherman and destroyed the crops of non-believers. Dates vary. Critics of the entrada claim that the event is more about celebrating the bottle than Jesus Christ, and they may be right. Anniversary of the Department of Tarija and the Battle of Tablada. Celebrated in Potosí, Cochabamba, Sorata and over 15 days in Oruro. Dozens of festivals and events in September. Celebrants go to mass and dance troupes compete in the streets. Dancers dance the “tarqueada” when the potato fields have begun to bloom to request rain and proper climactic conditions for a good harvest. Virgen del Rosario. 10 San Lorenzo. Folkloric dances, bull fights, music, dancing and typical food and drink. Oruro hosts by far the most well-known celebration of Carnival in Bolivia. 24 Santa Fe, San Rafael Mining District near the city of Oruro. Folkloric dancing emulates how the town defended themselves against the Portuguese when these towns were Jesuit Missions. This is a countrywide public holiday. 3 Fiesta de la Cruz. Catholic mass, processions and folkloric dancing. She said today is a festive day in celebration of the restoration of democracy to come,"This process won't end, it will continue for many years. There are many devout to the Virgin of Urkupiña. 2 Aiquile. Celebrated in the various Jesuit mission towns in Santa Cruz. 6 Día de los Reyes Magos (Day of the Kings or Wisemen). 3rd week. Virgen de la Candelaria. Experience the colorful, two-day celebrations of the Urkupina Virgin in Cochabamba or the enchanting, folkloric dancers of the Festival del Gran Poder in La Paz, or the most spectacular Bolivia holiday of all – the Oruro Carnival. Popular songs, fireworks, folkloric dances. International Culture Festival takes place in the cities of Sucre and Potosi. Miniature handcrafts are sold, similar to Alasitas in La Paz. 2nd Sunday Entre Ríos (Tarija). Dates vary. A procession with a statue of the virgin, bands and dancing in the streets. Saint Andrew. Also celebrated in small towns in the departments of Oruro, Cochabamba, Potosi, Sucre, Tarija and Beni. Grand Poder happens in May or June in La Paz. from La Paz). Virgen de Guadalupe - Distrito Minero de Santa Fe (Oruro). San Lorenzo. Tinku is Bolivia’s most insane and undiscovered festival, probably because tourists don’t want to cop a random fist to the face. Also Sorata’s most important festival. 5-6 Copacabana, Virgen de Copacabana. Culture Trip stands with Black Lives Matter. In celebration of their city, folkloric dance groups dance in the streets and there is also bullfighting. Local growers of this native Bolivian mangosteen celebrate the fruit with an annual festival, which now includes business round tables with potential overseas buyers. The holiest of all festivals, each department has its own variation but the more exotic festivities are in: Villa Serrano & Sucre (Chuquisaca), Vallegrande (Santa Cruz), San Ignacio de Moxos (Beni) & Tarija where some of the celebrations are carried on until the end of January. Some Aymara people in the Andean highlands believe that when the skulls of their deceased loved ones (or random strangers dug up from a graveyard) are decorated with flowers, hats or cigarettes, they will return the favor with protection and healing. 1 Año Nuevo Tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, and others participate to promote tourism. Señor de la Exaltación. Folkloric groups dance the famous “tinku” dance. One of the largest agricultural fairs in the region attended by vendors from all over the country. Solemn procession of the Virgin’s image through the streets. Festifront. Dancers dance a fertility dance. The belief is that when these tiny little models are blessed by a shaman or priest, they will become reality during the coming year. As in Santa Cruz and Vallegrande, there are processions, and traditional foods are sold in the streets of this, the Festival of the Cross. A procession of riders on horseback called Matacos (men) and Cunas (female Matacas). Large bonfires are ignited and people drink and jump across the flames. Huari. Catholics show their religious devotion throughout the country with solemn processions in which they carry a statue of Jesus and participate in mass. A sleepy mining town, centuries of tradition and a fusion of Catholic and indigenous religious beliefs come together to form Bolivia’s most popular festival. Dates vary. A sacred procession in Potosí. A week long celebration dedicated to both Pachamama and the Virgin Mary, the Festival of Urkupiña is colourful celebration featuring a mix of both Catholic and indigenous traditions. This celebration is held in the neighborhood of San Lorenzo, in the city of Santa Cruz, as well as in the town of San Lorenzo in Tarija. San Roque. Nuestro Señor del Gran Poder (Our Lord of Great Power) is a feverish religious celebration honoring the legacy of Jesus Christ. Music and dancing through the streets. This weird and wonderful festival takes place primarily in La Paz in early November. 3 Santa Vera Cruz Tatala. A procession through the streets during which a statue of Jesus after death on the cross is carried through the streets on Good Friday. 1st week of June. Quime (La Paz), Laja, Guaqui, Toro Toro. San José is the patron saint of carpenters and is honored with a festival. Also celebrated countrywide; however, this is not a public holiday and business continues as usual. Bolivia has a staggering amount of festivals throughout the year, with many based on pseudo-Christian beliefs while others purely indigenous American affairs.

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