Карнавал в Оруро (Carnival of Oruro) — культурная традиция в Боливии, включённая в список шедевров устного и нематериального наследия человечества ЮНЕСКО в 2001 году.
Карнавал непосредственно связан с праздником ито коренного боливийского народа уру, корни которого уходят ещё в эпоху местных доколумбовых цивилизаций. Первоначально каранавал был посвящён Пачамами, богини-матери, и Тио Супай, божеству гор, отождествляемому со злыми силами, а также другим божествам; образ Пачамами впоследствии — под влиянием распространения католицизма — превратился в образ Девы Марии. Праздник ито был запрещён испанцами в XVII веке, однако местные индейцы продолжали «неофициально» проводить подобные церемонии в пятую неделю февраля (на праздник Сретения) каждый год.
Одним из главных событий фестиваля являются исполнение 48 разновидностей народных танцев, которое продолжается три дня и три ночи. В празднестве участвуют около 28 тысяч танцоров и 10 тысяч музыкантов, объединённых в 150 групп, а число посетителей достигает порой 400 тысяч, процессия которых может быть растянута на 4 с лишним километра. Завершением карнавала являются две спектакля, которые по стилю напоминают средневековые мистерии. Один из них повествует об испанском завоевании этих земель, второй — о битве добра со злом, в конце которого архангел Михаил побеждает дьявола и смертные грехи. Второй спектакль был введён в карнавал католическим духовенством в 1818 году.
А это потом переведу, пока тут пускай полежит…
The Oruro Carnival lasts for 10 days each year before Lent in the Andes mountains of western Bolivia. Featuring music, dance and crafts, it is highlighted by a ceremonial parade lasting 20 hours, covering 4 kilometres and involving 20,000 dancers and 10,000 musicians. The carnival reinforces the cultural identity of the community, and attracts more than 400,000 people. You can see some examples at Oruro Photo Gallery to give you yourself a small vision.
Today’s carnival has its origins in the great festival of Ito celebrated by the Uru people since pre-Colombian times. The Spanish forbade the Uru rituals in the 17th century, but they continued disguised as Catholic liturgy. Andean gods were integrated into Christian images, the Andean divinities were worshipped as Catholic saints. Aspects of the festival of the Ito have been appropriated and continue to be expressed through a Christian ritual celebrated at Candelmas (February 2)
Oruro’s Carnaval has become Bolivia’s most renowned and largest annual celebration. It’s great time to visit, when this somewaht unfashionable mining city becomes the focus of the nation’s attention. In a broad sense, these festivities can be described as re-enactments of the triumph of good over evil, but the festival is so interlaced with threads of both Christian and indigenous myths, fables, deities an traditions that it would be inaccurate to oversimplify it in this way.
The origins of a similar festival may be traced back to the medieval kingdom of Aragon, these days part of Spain, although oruereños (Oruro locals) maintain that it commemorates an event that occurred during the early days of their own fair city. Legend has it that one night a thief called Chiru-Chiru was seriously wounded by a traveler he’d attempted to rob. Taking pity on the wrondoer, the Virgin of Candelaria gently helped him reach his home near the mine at base of Cerro Pie del Gallo and succored him until he died. When the miners found him there, an image of the Virgin hung over his head. Tofay, the mine is known as the Socavon de la Virgen (Grotto of the Virgin), and a large church, the Santuario de la Virgen del Socavon, has been built over it to house the Virgin. The Virgen del Socavon, as she is also now known, is the city’s patron. This legend has been combined with the ancient Uru tale of Huari and the struggle of Archangel Michael (san Miguel) against the seven deadly sins into the spectacle that is presented during the Oruro Carnaval.
Ceremonies begin several weeks before Carnaval Oruro itself, with a solemn pledge of loyalty to the Virgin in the sanctuary. From this date on, there are various candlelit processions, and dance groups practice boisterously in the citys’s streets.
As well as traditional Bolivian dance groups, such as the Caporales, Llameradas, Morenadas and Tinkus, Oruro’s Carnaval Features La Diablada (Dance of the devils). These demonic dancers are dressed in extravagant garb. The design and creation of Diablada customes has become an art form in Oruro, adn several Diablada clubs — consisting of members from all levels of Oruro society- are sponsored by local business. There are anywhere from 40 to 300 dancing participants, whose costumes may cost several hundres dollars each.
The main event kicks off on Saturday before de Ash Wednesday with the spectacular entrada (entrance procession) led by the brightly costumed San Miguel character. Behind him, dancing and marching, come the famous devils and a host of bears and condors. The chief decil Lucifer wears the most extravagant costume, complete with a velvet cape and an ornate mask. Faithfully at his side are two other devils, including Supay, an Andean god of evil that inhabits yhe hills and mineshafts. The procession is followed by other dance groups, vehicles adorned with jewels, coins and silverware (in commemoration of the achura rites in which the inca offered their treasures to Inti — the sun — in the festival of Inti Raymi), and the miners offer the year’s highest-quality mineral to El Tio, the demonic character who is owner of all underground minerals and precious metals. Behind the follow the inca characters and a group of conquistadores, including Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro.
When the devils and the archangel arrive at the soccer stadium, they engage in a series of dances that tell the story of the ultimate battle between good and evil. After it becomes apparent that good has triumphed over evil, the dancers retire to the Santuario de la Virgen del Socavon at dwan on the Sunday, and a mass is held in honor of the Virgin, who pronounces that good has prevailed.
There’s another, less spectacular entrada on Sunday afternoon, and more dance displays on the Monday. The next day, Shrove Tuesday, is marked by family reunions and cha’lla libations, in which alcohol is sprinkled over worldly goods to invoke a blessing. The next day people make their way into the surrounding countryside where four rock formations — the Toad, the Viper, the Condor an the Lizard, are also subjected to cha’lla as an offering to Pachamama. Plenty of the spirit is sprinkled down the revelers’ throats as well.
- Travelers participating in Carnival will delight in the frenzied dances, colourful costumes, traditional drinks and upbeat music. Celebrations involve lots of water bombs, water pistols and spray foam so expect to get soaked regardless of which day you attend.
- Because Carnival is such a popular event, accommodation (see below for recommendations) is booked out months in advance. Travelers should plan to book as early as possible and expect to pay five times the normal price for a room. Also note there is usually a 3 night minimum when booking a room. If you do turn up in Oruro without a reservation there is a slight chance you can share a room in private house with dozens of other stranded people.
- Like any major festival around the world, crowds get rowdy and petty crime does occur, therefore it’s recommended to leave valuables at home and not drink to access. If offered the typical drink chicha, proceed with caution as it’s very strong and causes terrible hangovers.
- It’s also worth noting that Oruro is situated 3700 meters above sea level meaning travelers should give themselves time to adjust to the altitude, taking it easy, avoiding alcohol and drinking plenty of water. It also gets cold at nights so bring comfortable and warm clothing.
- While Carnival can be experienced on your own, keep in mind that this time of year is extremely chaotic so be prepared for things to go not according to plan. For this exact reason many people choose to experience Carnival with a tour company. Whilst more expensive, going with a tour offers piece of mind, comfort and guaranteed seats, something you may not achieve going on your own. Many agencies throughout Bolivia offer excursions, some lasting 8 days, others just going for the main parade. To get an idea of itinerary options, prices and inclusions, check out these tours offered by Andes-Amazonia or Tourismo Bolivia Peru.