The Oruro Carnival has its origin in the ancient Andean mother earth (Pachamama), Uncle Supay (Devil) and Candelaria Virgin invocations. It is considered unique due its religious nature.
The Oruro Carnival starts 40 days before Easter with the first "Convite" for the Socavon Virgin. For this occasion all the dance groups visit the Socavon Church where the Promise and Permission ceremony takes place. From this day on, other ceremonies intensify in number in Oruro city, such as The Calvario, dance groups rehearsals and Candelaria Virgin musical evenings.
A week before the Oruro Carnival the second "Convite" takes place with all the dance and music groups gathering.
The Oruro Carnival Friday is traditionally dedicated to the "Tio Convite" and the mining areas "Challa".
The Oruro Carnival Saturday takes place with the folkloric dance groups parade also known as "La Entrada del Carnaval de Oruro", with spectacular folkloric dance choreography demonstrations along the Oruro's Carnival Route. During the day dancers and dances are entirely dedicated to the Candelaria Virgin Oruro Patrons Saint.
The Oruro Carnival 2012 route will retrace the same streets and avenues as in the past two years. The streets included in the carnival circuit are Bolivar street from Pagador street, Aroma avenue till 6 de Agosto avenue. From there the route continues via Bolivar street, La Plata, Adolfo Mier and Presidente Montes streets. Bolivar towards Petot and Adolfo Mier streets, Civica avenue "Sanjines Vincentti" and Junin street to finally end at the well known Santuario del Socavon.
The Oruro Carnival lasts six days, although the celebrations start earlier. The first steps are taken by the entire society where determined citizens are given the responsibility to celebrate the well known "Prestes" religious festivity during the carnival.
The main days of the Oruro Carnival 2012 are February 18 and February 19, but many other activities take place around the central celebrations.
The Anata Andino is the Pachamama thanksgiving festivity ritual for the crops and other gifts of the earth. Thousands of native men, women and children embellish their folkloric clothes with flowers and community land products.
Each year the performers practice new choreographies, innovate in music and add particular and new characteristics to their already colorful clothes without losing the origins, traditions and culture of the Catnival.
The Anata Andino takes place on Thursday before the Oruro Carnival Central Pilgrimage. The city is covered in colorful flowers as symbols of the crops blooming. Tarqueadas, mozenadas and pinkilladas choreographies are performed by the Oruro Carnival route following the Jallupacha (rainy time) music rhythm. Each native community group is directed by its authorities (jilakatas, mama t'allas, sindical secretaries and sometimes mayors).
Furthermore, a merely ritual connotation of the Anata Andino has been considered as a political strategy to promote the presence and need of recognition of the indigenous population in the modern society.
More than a hundred folk groups from the provinces and towns of Oruro, Potosi and La Paz dance on the streets in the Anata Andino along the Oruro Carnival route. The departure point is the corner of Aroma and 6 de Agosto Avenues. This thanksgiving ceremony to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) is considered a unique folkloric display of joy, culture, and Andean history.
This event will take place during the night with the participation of the best folkloric musical groups performing along the Oruro Carnival route.
The Ch'alla is a ritual offering to thank Mother Earth for the crops, the material and spiritual wealth granted. The Andean population perceive reality as a whole where respect is reflected in the harmony with the earth, the cosmos and the other creatures of the world.
The Ch'alla ritual consist of sprinkling the earth, the workplaces, stores,businesses etc., with wine or traditional drinks.
The Ch'alla starts with fireworks to announce the wajt'a (offering that will be burned) to honor the Pachamama.
The Oruro Carnival 2012 starts at 07:00 with the greatest Socavon Virgin Pilgrimage that will take place till the night along the Carnival route in Oruro city. More than 50.000 devout folklore dancers transform Oruro into a mirror of the entire Bolivian folklore richness. "The Oruro Carnival entrance" is a long awaited day: the traditional dances like the Diablada, Morenada, Caporales, Tobas, Negritos, Incas, Kallawayas, Surisicuris, Kullaguadas, Llameradas, Reyes Morenos, Wititis, Intiwayras, Pujllays, Doctorcitos, Antawaras, Potolos and Awatiris are performed with shine and colors by folkloric groups in an impressive show full of artisan designs and choreography.
Carnival Sunday starts at the corner of Potosi Street and Aroma Avenue. The festivity will start at 07:00 in the morning, with approximately 48 folkloric dance groups who will share their joy and dances with the entire city that still wants to celebrate the carnival.
Monday is the last Carnival day in Oruro. The farewell to the Socavon Virgin dancers takes place this day, and it's celebrated with masses offered by the different dance groups.
During this day several choreography performances are offered to the public by the different dance groups in strategically chosen locations around Oruro city.
After the pilgrimage Saturday and the Carnival Corso Sunday, the Monday starts with a mass at the Socavon Virgin Sanctuary with a special blessing. Later, the Diablada dance groups gather at the 10 Febrero square for a Diablada dance performance.
The traditional Diablada story telling takes place on Monday afternoon at 13:00, dramatized by the authentic "Diablada Oruro". The story tells of the fight between good and evil with the seven capital sins, and ends in a particular Diablada performance towards the Socavon Sanctuary.
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