The Carnival season ends at midnight tonight, with the start of Lent. In the days leading up to the Christian tradition of fasting, celebrations of excess take place all over the world. In Oruro, Bolivia, it’s the Carnaval de Oruro. The festival itself pre-dates the arrival of Europeans, but took on Christian traditions over time. The festival features a parade of more than 28,000 dancers and over 10,000 musicians, which takes about 20 hours to complete. Since the city of Oruro is set 12,000 feet high in the Andes, performing in the parade is quite a physical challenge!
Carnaval de Oruro also involves an elaborate dance called the Diablada, or Dance of the Devils. It illustrates a battle between good and evil, or more specifically, a battle between Satan and his minions and the archangel Michael. You can guess who wins in the end. Read more about Carnaval de Oruro and see gorgeous pictures at Atlas Obscura.
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