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Bolivia Events

Bolivia 2014 events

Fiesta Patronal

Date (To be confirmed):
July 2014

Fiesta Patronal is a similar folkloric festival to Carnaval and Gran Poder, ......

Fiesta Patronal is a similar folkloric festival to Carnaval and Gran Poder, although this one pays homage to patron saint San Ignacio, and takes place in the Bolivian Amazon. In late July this otherwise-sleepy town lights up with riotous all-night celebrations of dance and music: namely drums, violin, flutes and bajones – flute-like instruments made out of palm leaf. Look out for the iconic dance of the Machetero, a salutation to the sun in a flurry of feathers.

Venue:
San Ignacio

Address:
San Ignacio, Bolivia

Event cost:
Free.

Category:
Culture

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Independence Day

Date (To be confirmed):
August 2014

This lively public holiday celebrates the country’s independence from Spa ......

This lively public holiday celebrates the country’s independence from Spanish rule, declared on August 6, 1825. Patriotic parades fill streets across Bolivia with gunfire, mortar blasts and military parades all part of the festivities.

Venue:
Nationwide.

Address:
La Paz, Bolivia

Event cost:
Free.

Category:
Culture

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Fiesta de la Virgen de Urkupiña

Date (To be confirmed):
August 2014

One of the biggest national fiestas, the Fiesta of the Virgin of Urkupiña ......

One of the biggest national fiestas, the Fiesta of the Virgin of Urkupiña in Quillacollo attracts up to half a million visitors, many of whom take the pilgrimage from Cochabamba. The fiesta is based on the story of a young shepherdess who had visions of the Virgin Mary on the nearby Cerro Cota Hill. Villagers are said to have caught a glimpse of her ascending to heaven, and later found a carved image of her in rocks. The fiesta includes a huge parade of costumed dancers, as well as much eating and drinking. The tradition is to visit the hill and take home a piece of lucky rock.

Venue:
Quillacollo

Address:
Quillacollo, Bolivia

Event cost:
Free.

Category:
Religion

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Día de las Ñatitas

Date (To be confirmed):
November 2014

Día de las Ñatitas, or “Day of the Skulls” is a beautifully morbid tr ......

Día de las Ñatitas, or “Day of the Skulls” is a beautifully morbid tradition across Bolivia. Every November 9, members of the Aymara community gather around the cemeteries of Bolivia (La Paz’s central cemetery is a good one to visit) to present their skulls in everything from fancy glass boxes to plastic bags. Rose petals, cigarettes and coca leaves are scattered over them as offerings, and sometimes they’re even serenaded. This tradition stems from the ancient Aymaran belief that a person has seven souls, the last one remaining within the skeleton after death. Skulls are kept in households as talismans of luck – though if they’re treated badly they can bring bad fortune.

Venue:
La Paz Central Cemetery.

Address:
Av Baptista Tacagua, La Paz, Bolivia

Event cost:
Free.

Category:
Culture

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Bolivia 2015 events

Feria de Alasitas

Date (To be confirmed):
January 2015

The Feria de Alasitas, meaning “abundance”, is celebrated in honour of ......

The Feria de Alasitas, meaning “abundance”, is celebrated in honour of the God of abundance, Ekeko. Every year, households make offerings to dwarf Ekeko, who must be kept happy with miniature gifts which he will return by the end of the year. La Paz is taken over by market stalls selling these miniature gifts. Traditionally they used to be food and farm animals, but now you can get everything from mini houses and cars to mini electronic devices, airline tickets and even university degrees.

Venue:
Throughout La Paz.

Address:
La Paz, Bolivia

Event cost:
Free.

Category:
Entertainment

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Oruro Carnaval

Date (To be confirmed):
February 2015

Join in the fun at Bolivia’s most spectacular carnival, which consist ......

Join in the fun at Bolivia’s most spectacular carnival, which consists of a week-long party with costumes, parades, floats, water fights and dancing. It’s a huge celebration of everything folkloric (with references to Christianity too). The pavements are lined with benches while costumed dancers, floats and a brass band dance by. Don’t miss the diablada (devils’ dance) made up of two dancers who represent Lucifer and St Michael, followed by hundreds of dancers dressed as devils. Week-long drinking and water fights are also popular – tourists are common targets so be prepared. Carnaval is celebrated nationwide – Tarija and Santa Cruz also put on spectacular shows.

Venue:
Around Oruro.

Address:
Oruro, Bolivia

Event cost:
80-350Bs per day to rent a bench

Category:
Dance

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Carnaval de Tarabuco

Date (To be confirmed):
March 2015 (Third Sunday of March.)

Every year on the third Sunday of March, the community of Tarabuco celebrat ......

Every year on the third Sunday of March, the community of Tarabuco celebrate perhaps one of the best known indigenous festivals in the country. All surrounding communities attend to commemorate the battle of Pujillay in 1816, when the Tarabuceños ambushed a battalion of Spanish soldiers during the Independence War, and ate their hearts in revenge for all their wrongdoings. The festival itself is slightly more light-hearted, with folkloric dances, parades and a sacrificial ritual altar. There’ll also be drinking until dawn – namely beer, pure cane alcohol and maize beer called chicha.

Venue:
Tarabuco.

Address:
Tarabuco , Bolivia

Event cost:
Free.

Category:
Culture

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The Chiquitos Musical Renaissance

Date (To be confirmed):
April 2015 - May 2015

The Jesuit Mission Trail, East of Santa Cruz, offers beautiful churches for ......

The Jesuit Mission Trail, East of Santa Cruz, offers beautiful churches for architecture aficionados which date back to the 18th century. The region is also renowned for its music too. When the churches were restored in the 1970s archives of orchestral musical scores composed by one of the original Jesuit priests were discovered, which caused a musical revival. Since then, a biennial music festival takes place (in even years), with orchestras and groups flying in from around the world to participate in both Chiquitos and Santa Cruz.

Venue:
Santa Cruz and Chiquitos.

Address:
Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Event cost:
Ticket prices vary.

Category:
Music

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Fiesta del Gran Poder

Date (To be confirmed):
June 2015

Similar to Carnaval, the Fiesta del Gran Poder is a colourful celebration o ......

Similar to Carnaval, the Fiesta del Gran Poder is a colourful celebration of Aymaran traditions. It’s a dramatic religious celebration in homage to the “Gran Poder” Jesus Christ, but more of a full-on party than a religious procession – thousands of bizarrely-costumed dancers take to the city centre streets of the capital for hours.

Venue:
Throughout La Paz.

Address:
La Paz, Bolivia

Event cost:
Free.

Category:
Entertainment

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Aymara New Year

Date (To be confirmed):
June 2015

Forget Noche Vieja – the Aymara New Year is a much more interesting celeb ......

Forget Noche Vieja – the Aymara New Year is a much more interesting celebration in Bolivia. Celebrated on the winter solstice across the Altiplano towns, the New Year is the longest and coldest night of the year. Expect huge bonfires and fireworks in the streets, as well as lots of hot coca and alcohol to keep warm. At the ancient site of Tiwanka, hundreds of traditional priests congregate to watch the sun rise and celebrate with dancing, music and ancient rituals.

Venue:
Tiahuanacu.

Address:
Tiahuanacu, Bolivia

Event cost:
Free.

Category:
Culture

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