Autumn Festivals in Bolivia

September

LA PAZ

8 Viacha.- Bullfights, folkloric dances, about 12 miles from the city of La Paz, on the altiplano.

14 Sorata.- (144 km. from La Paz). Folkloric exhibitions and typical food. It is the most important festivity in this town.

21 Tiahuanaco (La Paz).. Equinoccio de la Primavera. Spring Equinox. Indigenous leaders and inhabitants gather to watch the first rays of sun (of the sun god Inti) shine across the main portal of the Temple of Kalasasaya. The first day of Spring and a very important indigenous and local festival.

COCHABAMBA

14 Departmental anniversary. Culture and Tourism Festival during which handcrafts and companies involved in tourism, such as travel agencies, hotels, and tour operators, participate.

14 Varios provinces. Señor de la Exaltación. Lord of Exaltation. Masses and processions. Celebrated in Potosí, Cochabamba, Sorata and over 15 days in Oruro.

SANTA CRUZ

8 Vallegrande. Virgen de Guadalupe. Festival with typical food, and singing competitions. Also held in Viacha (La Paz), Sucre (Chuquisaca) and Vallegrande (Santa Cruz). Folkloric dances, bull fights, music, dancing and typical food.

24 Ephemerides of the Department of Santa Cruz. Departmental anniversary involving civic functions and parades as well as other celebrations to honor Santa Cruz. This is a public holiday in Santa Cruz, although it is not in other parts of the country. Dozens of festivals and events in September.

CHUQUISACA

8 Sucre. Virgen de Guadalupe. Solemn procession of the Virgin’s image through the streets. Viacha (La Paz), Sucre (Chuquisaca) and Vallegrande (Santa Cruz). A religious festival in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Folkloric dances, bull fights, music, dancing and typical food.

POTOSI

14 Exaltación del Señor de la Vera Cruz (Exaltation of the Lord of the Cross) at San Lorenzo Church. Pilgrimage in honor of Lord to the Manuquiri Sanctuary. Also takes place in Sorata (La Paz), Potosi, Oruro, and Cochabamba. A religious festival for the holy cross. One of Cochabamba's biggest festivals and the celebration of the Ephemeredes of Cochabamba’s, the departmental anniversary. Also Sorata’s most important festival.

29 Uncía (Potosi). San Miguel Festival. Folkloric groups dance the famous “tinku” dance. Mass and procession. Typical Andean folkloric dances by groups of “Tinkus”. Mass and processions.

TARIJA

1st Sunday. San Roque. Tarija’s most important festival lasting 8 days with daily processions, food and typical drinks. The most outstanding characteristic of this festival are the processions accompanied by the Chunchos of all ages who dance daily adorned using stunning costumes. San Roque is the patron saint of dogs.

October

LA PAZ

1 Viacha. Catholic mass, processions and folkloric dancing.

20 Foundation of the City of La Paz (Nuestra Señora de la Paz, Our Lady of Peace). Civic acts and at times band marching.

24 Santa Fe, San Rafael Mining District near the city of Oruro. Festival to the patron saint Raphael with folkloric dancing and music.

SUCRE – POTOSI

Dates vary. International Culture Festival takes place in the cities of Sucre and Potosi. Painting, music, literature, theater, cinema, and the participation of ethnic groups as well as activities related to contemporary art and pop culture in artists and groups from many countries participate.

1-2: Virgen de La Merced and Virgen del Rosario. A sacred procession in Potosí.

ORURO

4 Huaylla. Virgen del Rosario. Fireworks, songs, folkloric dancing, Catholic mass and processions. Held in Oruro where it is also know as Huayllas, Warnes in Santa Cruz, Sucre and Cochabamba.

2nd Sunday. Virgen de Guadalupe - Distrito Minero de Santa Fe (Oruro). A procession of riders on horseback called Matacos (men) and Cunas (female Matacas).

TARIJA

2nd Sunday. Virgen del Rosario. Also called the Flower Festival, it is carried out in the El Molino neighborhood with a procession after Catholic mass. Viacha (La Paz), Quillacollo, Tarata & Morochata (Cochabamba), Tarija (Tarija), Warnes (Santa Cruz), Tarabuco (Chuquisaca), Huayllas (Oruro) & others. A celebration for the Virgin of the Rosary. Fireworks and dancing in some locations.

2nd Sunday Entre Ríos (Tarija). Virgen de Guadalupe. Parade of horsemen matacos and chiriguanos, cuñas (matacas women). Also held in the Distrito Minero de Santa Fe (Oruro).

COCHABAMBA

Dates vary. Cochabamba. Luzmilla Patiño Folklore Festival, held every two years (next one should be in 2008).

November

COUNTRYWIDE

1-2 Todos Santos (also called Día de los Muertos or Día de los Santos Difuntos). All Saints/All Souls Day. People visit the graves of their dead family members, bringing them flowers and adorning the tombs. Many people spend the entire day in a type of family picnic (and sometimes the night), eating, leaving bread dolls and other pastries, as well as full meals for the dead. They set a place for the deceased at each meal.

ORURO

1st Sunday. Invitation to folkloric dance troupes to participate in practice sessions over the next few months for the dancing at the Festival of the Virgen del Socavón that will take place at Carnival in Oruro. This is the first visit to Oruro for the participants for the Carnival in February.

BENI

18 Ephemeredes of Beni. Anniversary of the Department of Beni. Culture and Tourism Fair in Trinidad with handcrafts, folkloric dancing and music.

SANTA CRUZ

30 San Andrés. Saint Andrew. Festivities in the city with fireworks, folkloric dancing, processions and masses. Also held in Taquiri (Cochabamba).

COCHABAMBA

November 30th in Taquiña. San André Festival. (St. Andrew Festival.) Popular songs, fireworks, folkloric dances.

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