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Photo(s) Angels and devils battle it out at Bolivian festival

Discussion in 'People/Places/Events' started by Wilbur, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Wilbur

    WilburSuper Addict Trust LVL 1 Moderator

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    The festival is a fusion between indigenous traditions and Catholicism, as Monica García reports.


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    The festival of Señor del Gran Poder (Lord of the Great Power) is one of the biggest, most colourful and expensive celebrations in Bolivia.


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    Celebrated annually at the end of May or the beginning of June in the city of La Paz, it is a fusion of indigenous beliefs and Catholicism.


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    The festival honours Jesus Christ and his statue is central to the event. It is taken out of the church where it is normally kept and placed on a purpose-built altar in the street. All dancers stop and pray in front of it, often trying to touch its embroidered robes.



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    Tens of thousands of people take part in the event, with many women wearing the colourful shawls and bowler hats typical of indigenous Aymara attire.



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    Dancers parade through the streets for hours along a route several kilometres long and the high altitude - the city is 3,500m above sea level - can get even to the hardiest of participants.



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    The festivity draws visitors from all over Bolivia and further afield to the city and provides a massive boost to its economy. According to the local authorities, the festival has grown from a $52m-turnover six years ago to $115m this year.



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    Embroiderers, tailors, goldsmiths, hairdressers and make-up artists play a key role in the preparations for the event, which start eight months ahead of the festivities.



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    The costumes are highly elaborate and richly adorned and can cost hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars.



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    Masks and headpieces are key to many of the dances and can sometimes dwarf the dancers who wear them.



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    While many of the participants are Aymara, dancers come from abroad as well to take part in the parades and dances.



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    Many of the costumes are based on the the struggle of good against evil, angels against devils. The forces of good are led by Saint Michael.



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    In the end, good always triumphs over evil and the devils are defeated.
     
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