Sunday, 10 February 2013

Rio has its Christ, now Oruro has a Virgin

Last night we had our yearly fix of dance, Bolivian style at Friend’s of Bolivia’s carnival night in London. I was not disappointed, there was a good folkloric band, two dance groups and a disco.

As with many Catholic countries, Bolivia celebrates carnival and its does it in great style (read Gemma Bowes’ Guardian article on her visit).

Bolivia’s biggest carnival is held in the small mining town of Oruro, which comes to life once a year when more than 30,000 people dance in procession through the streets. Dancers in fantastically elaborate costumes are accompanied by brass bands and perform in front of Bolivians and the odd foreign visitor to honour the Virgin of el Socavon. (La Virgen Morena).

This year to kick of the Carnival celebrations President Evo Morales, himself a musician in the carnival in his youth, was part of the inauguration of the newly erected Virgen of Sovacon statue. It stands 45 metres high, seven metres higher than Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue and just a bit shorter than New York’s Statue of Liberty.

It certainly adds something new to the place, I can’t wait to get back home to see it. If you want to see for yourself, HighLives can help arrange a fantastic stay at next year’s Oruro carnival, or indeed a visit at any time of year.

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