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Encarnación Carnival, Paraguay

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What is the Carnival of Encarnación?

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The Carnival of Encarnación, Corso Encarnación or Carnaval Encarnaceno, is an annual celebration held in the city of Encarnación, Paraguay. Each year, the city of Encarnación is the scene of an incredible spectacle full of music, floats and costumes full of color, glitter and feathers. Today, these carnivals are one of the largest public festivals in the country.

The carnivals of Encarnación consist of the competition of various groups or clubs that the residents themselves carry out. Each of the corsos has 5 groups or comparsas of at least 60 participants and 4 floats that must perform a great show in the Sambódromo or Corsódromo of the city for one hour. The celebration takes place during 5 days starting from the month of January and culminating in the month of February. The shows take place exclusively on Saturdays.

 

 

Every year, the carnavales Encarnacenos are visited by at least some100,000 people every year, who visit the sambódromo or corsódromo during the different dates proposed for the celebration.

 

The Carnival of Encarnación is a celebration where 5 groups perform at the sambódromo

The Carnival of Encarnación is a celebration where 5 groups perform at the sambódromo

 

When is the Carnival of Encarnación?

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The Carnival of Encarnación takes place from the month of January to the month of February and generally occupies 5 days. These 5 days of celebration are distributed only on Saturdays, so there is a show in the sambódromo once a week until completing the 5 days of celebration. The Carnival of Encarnación takes place approximately from January 23rd to February 20th.

 

 

History of the Carnivals of Encarnación

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After the War of the Triple Alliance that took place between 1864 and 1870, the country wanted to return to normality, including at that time the Villa Encarnación. Families began to return to their homes to rebuild what had been lost. The village began to recover and to receive a large influx of foreign migrants mainly from Europe, Syria and Lebanon, which brought the village into contact with a large number of cultures, traditions and economic contributionsto the formation of a new social order that would allow people to accumulate wealth.

Encarnación became an important city, which was the cradle of entrepreneurs and businessmen, who occupied large and luxurious houses. With the comforts and luxuries, came the leisure and fun activities, thus people with greater purchasing power celebrated large private parties in their living rooms, inviting all their loved ones.

At the beginning of the 20th century, more specifically in 1916, a Social Center was created, where parties and parades with floats were held to celebrate the founding of the new city. In this first edition of the carnivals acostume party was held with some European elements, drink, food, haute couture costumes, perfumes and various items of the same nature.



Early Carnivals

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The first carnival events featured the exclusive participation of men; however, women began to take a direct part in the carnivals. Over time, new elements were integrated such as the “corso de las flores” which incorporated papel picado, serpentinas, masks andcolorful and decorated costumes. In addition, also the carrozas began to be made in a better way and were carried by horses.

For some decades, the carnivals stopped being celebrated, due to political events that were part of the Paraguayan panorama, such as the Civil War and the Chaco War. In addition, they were also suspended due to unstable weather conditions that caused the partial destruction of some sectors of the city of Encarnación..

In the mid-twentieth century, comparsas clubs began to form part of the carnival celebrations. In this way, family and social groups began to become a more active part of the festivities. In the 1970s, the Comisión de Arte y Cultura of the municipality was founded, which gave way to the modernization of the festivities and all its elements, turning them into first class celebrations for the time.

After several adjustments in the location, the first sambódromo was installed in 1994, which was located on Avenida Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. The corsos stood out particularly in this type of environment, so they began to become a main tourist attraction for the city. The show consisted of music, parade, costumes and carrozas.

 

At present

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In the main sambódromo was built in 2014 and the corsos finally had a fixed place to be held. This sambadrome is known for being the third largest in the world, being surpassed by Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The sambadrome contains about 440 meters long and another 12 and a half meters wide. In addition, it has areas of grandstands, boxes, cabins and other services for the enjoyment of spectators.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.

 

Where is the Carnival of Encarnación?

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Carnivals are held the sambódromo of the city of Encarnación, Paraguay. The city has a total area of 274 square kilometers and a total population of 136,000 inhabitants.

The sambódromo where the corsos take place in 2014, which is 440 meters long and 12.5 meters wide. Its construction cost 21 billion guarani, equivalent to 3.7 million U.S. dollars. In addition, today it is the third largest sambadrome in the world, surpassed only by Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

 

The Carnival of Encarnación has 5 groups that dress up in big and colorful costumes

The Carnival of Encarnación has 5 groups that dress up in big and colorful costumes

 

How is the Carnival of Encarnación celebrated?

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The Carnival Encarnaceno is celebrated during 5 nights of the year ranging from the month of January to the month of February. The corsos are held exclusively on Saturdays, so during these two months there are 5 large events where the troupes perform their repertoire of dancing, music and decorated and themed floats. The sambódromo begins to receive all the spectators at approximately 9 pm; however, all the magic happens from 11 pm until 2 am.

The corsos are made up of 4 floats and 5 comparsas or groups, which must compete against each other to acquire the various titles in the group and individual categories:.

 

General Category

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The general category is taken into consideration globally, so it evaluates the groupings and floats as a whole, taking into consideration the different elements that compose it.

Within this category are awarded: Best Comparsa, Best Float and Best Musical Band.

 

Individual Category

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In the individual category some awards are taken cumulatively or require some prerequisites; for example, in some categories you need to have won or acquired a title, either queen, empress or ambassador to compete in the category that follows. Having clarified this, we offer you the categories that are included individually:

  • Group dancer female and male category: It is made up of the dance couple.
  • Soloist soloist female and male category: Individual dancer.
  • Band standard-bearer male category: Person who carries the identification of the group, float or comparsa.
  • Band standard-bearer female category: Person who carries the identification of the group, float or comparsa.
  • Bastonera of the brass band: Person who performs a choreography carrying a baton.
  • Bastonera of the brass band: Person who performs a choreography carrying a baton.
  • Porta-estandarte de la comparsa male category: Person who carries the comparsa’s badge.
  • Bastonera de la comparsa male category: Person who carries the comparsa’s badge.
  • Bastonera de comparsa: Person who performs choreography or acrobatics with the baton during the show.
  • Reina: Person who is chosen to represent the carnivals.
  • Ambassadress: Only people who have been queens in the past participate.
  • Empress: Only people who have been queens in the past participate.
  • Empress: Only people who have been ambassadors before participate.
  • Empress: Only people who have been ambassadors before participate.
  • Muse: Only persons who have been empresses before participate.
  • Muse: Only persons who have been empresses before participate.
  • Muse: Only persons who have been empresses before participate.

The groups and troupes perform a great show during the 5 days of celebration. Attracting all their attention and giving their best to obtain the different titles of the competition. The carnivals of Encarnación are a visual and musical show that you will not want to miss.

 

 

Comparsas

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  • Club Atlético San Juan
  • El Club Pettirossi
  • Club Nacional
  • Club Universal
  • Club 22 de Setiembre
  • Club 22 de Septiembre

 

Carrozas

    • Pacu Cuá Hunting and Fishing Club
    • Pacu Cuá Hunting and Fishing Club

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  • Radioparque Club
  • German Club
  • Sacachispas Club
  • Club Sacachispas

 

Each grouping and float is judged by a highly qualified jury who decides who will be the winners or holders of the various titles that the organization has available. The groupings are made up of at least 60 participants, each of them among dancers, passistas, bastoneros, queens, ambassadors, empresses and musas. The groups perform an incredible themed show, full of color, joy and dance for an audience of at least 12,000 people per night.

 

Snow spray battle

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The carnivals also feature a particular event that takes place during the corsos events: the spray snow battle. This event involves throwing a kind of white spray foam towards the public and the participants themselves until they are completely covered with the material.

The carnivals of Encarnación are definitely an event that you must attend for its catchy, joyful atmosphere and its dreamlike spectacle that has nothing to envy to the carnivals of Rio de Janeiro.

 

Tips to go to the Carnivals of Encarnación

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If you wish to attend the carnivals of Encarnación, we recommend you plan your carnivals in advance, make an itinerary of activities and book your preferred lodging in advance.

Be sure to pack comfortable shoes and clothes so you can fully enjoy the carnivals. Also, make sure you don’t mind staining your clothes due to the snow spray battle that takes place during the festivities.

We want you to know that tickets for the event can be purchased in advance through the different tools that the organization and the city offer. Likewise, tickets can be worth from about 10,000 to 200,000 guaranies; however, the price may change depending on the type of service you want to purchase. 1 dollar is equivalent to 6,800 guaraníes, so a ticket can range from 1.50 to 30 US dollars or depending on the type of service you wish to purchase.

Finally, we recommend you bring sunglasses, sunglasses or a cloth with which you can protect your eyes during the snow spray battle. You definitely don’t want it to get in your eyes.

 

Events at Carnaval de Encarnación

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Once the carnivals begin, the festivities take place once a week, holding the corsos exclusively on Saturdays. The grounds open at 9 p.m., but the show starts from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m..

In that period of time, all the groups and floats take to the stage to perform a wonderful show of hundreds of colors, beautifully decorated floats with unique themes, dancers in multicolored and ornate costumes and the music that envelops the entire celebration. The groups are carefully judged according to various criteria, which will lead to the winners in the different established categories.

Once the show is over, people leave the venue and usually continue the festivities in a private club or local discotheque.

At the end of the fifth day of the celebrations, the organization finally reveals who are the winners of the parties in the different categories and with this the Carnivals of Encarnación come to an end.

 

The groups perform presentations and choreographies during the Carnival of Encarnación

The groups perform presentations and choreographies during the Carnival of Encarnación

 

Encarnación Carnival Parades

 

The parades are made up of the 5 groups and the 4 floats that perform their interpretations covering the elements of dance, costumes, music, theming and set design. Each of the shows are performed in about 3 to 4 hours of show time.

Each of the groups and floats are evaluated by a jury to then announce the winners of the various carnival categories.

 

Parade route

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The sambadrome is the stage of the corsos in the Carnival of Encarnación

The sambadrome is the stage of the corsos in the Carnival of Encarnación

 

The corsos take place in the city’s sambódromo, which has a track 440 meters long and 12.5 meters wide. In addition, it has several spaces where people can be located to enjoy the show. These spaces are divided into seats, boxes, bleachers and cabins, each of them offering different categories and prices.

The sambódromo is located near the Costanera Avenue in the Civic Center of the city of Encarnación, Republic of Paraguay.

 

Los alfajores son unos dulces tradicionales de la región

Los alfajores son unos dulces tradicionales de la región

 

What to eat at the Carnival of Encarnación

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Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay share some cultural elements, especially in the part of gastronomy and particularly the border states or regions. For this reason it is common to find some dishes almost the same in some of these three countries.

One of the examples that you can get within the Paraguayan territory is the alfajor, a characteristic dessert of the region that is made with two cookies filled with some cream, usually dulce de leche; however, they are also found in chocolate.

Another of the particularities that you can get is the consumption of yerba mate, just like its sister country. Yerba mate is a tea that is prepared with a silver called Ilex paraguariensis or simply yerba mate or yerba from Paraguay. It is a drink that is consumed hot almost every day.

In addition, the city of Encarnación offers you some options to eat out such as: Novo Rodeio – Rey do lazo, Vicio’s, Milord, Primoli Restaurant and Portobello Pasta & Birra. These places offer a varied menu of local, international, Latin and vegetarian food.

 

Mate is an herb that is processed and consumed as a tea

Mate is an herb that is processed and consumed as a tea

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Travel Insurance

 

From Carnavalesdelmundo.org we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurances. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside the Encarnación Carnival

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Once you attend the carnivals, what you should do is attend the corsos that take place every Saturday. You can decide to go the day that is most convenient or the day you prefer, since every weekend the same function takes place. The only thing you should choose with caution is the type of seat you wish to purchase during the holidays. Get ready for a high-level show and a complete carnival experience at the sambadrome.

Don’t forget toparticipate in the spray snow battle, it’s a particular event and it would be fun to get a little dirty during the festivities. If you attend with some friends or family, it’s a good idea to continue the celebration at a local club.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world

 

What to see and do outside the Carnivals of Encarnación

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San José Beach

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It is an ideal beach to attend with the family or to simply spend the afternoon, as the waters are generally calm and shallow. The surroundings are quite clean and well-kept. If you visit the beach, stay until sunset, as you will be treated to a beautiful view.

 

City Waterfront

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It is a flat section of the city near the coast and Playa San Jose. The streets are wide and clean, ideal for a bike ride or walk. In addition, in its surroundings you can find a variety of stores where you can eat or drink something.

 

Jesuit Ruins of Jesús de Tavarangüé

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They are ruins that are part of the World Heritage Site of Unesco. Its construction dates back to the 17th century. The ruins are a reflection of daily life during the religious missions in the region.

Also, if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your entrance ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting

 

Safety in the Carnival of Encarnación

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The city of Encarnación is generally quite safe, so you don’t have to worry about strolling through its streets both day and night. Your best ally during the celebrations is common sense, if you use it, you will have a wonderful carnival.

It is always a good idea to keep your valuables in a safe place to avoid theft or loss. Also, we recommend the following products to keep your valuables safe:

 

 

Weather at the Carnival of Encarnación

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The weather in the city of Encarnación during Carnival celebrations is quite pleasant, with temperatures ranging between 20 and 31 degrees Celsius. It is the perfect time to attend the beach and cool off for a while.

 

The Encarnación Carnival is the biggest carnival celebration in Paraguay

The Encarnación Carnival is the biggest carnival celebration in Paraguay

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How to get to Encarnación Carnival

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How to get there by plane

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The city of Encarnación has its own airport called Teniente Amín Ayub Gonzaléz International Airport. However, the airport is not very busy, so it receives very few international flights and only a few domestic flights. For this reason, if you are coming to the city from far away, you can arrive at the Guaraní International Airport and use the means of transportation to Encarnación.

Another option is to fly to Posadas airport in Argentina and from there travel to Paraguay by bus or car.

We recommend buying airline tickets through Kiwi.com or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review Kiwi.com..

 

How to get there by bus

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From Guaraní International Airport you can take a Taxi to Ciudad del Este. Then, you can go to the bus station and take one that will take you directly to the city of Encarnación..

In Posadas, Argentina, you can also take a bus to the city of Encarnación.

 

How to get there by car

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From Guaraní International Airport you can take a car and use Route 6 until you reach the city of Encarnación.

In Posadas, Argentina, you can take a car using Route 1. The drive is one hour.

 

Where to stay in Encarnación Carnival

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Booking.com

 

Leclub resort hotel

4 star hotel 1.6 km from Encarnacion city center. Rooms feature air conditioning, cable TV, refrigerator and private bathroom with shower. Facilities offer swimming pool, spa, bar, parking and free wifi.

 

Del Sur Hotel-Museo

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4 stars hotel 7 km from Encarnacion city center. Rooms have air conditioning, living room, minibar, TV and private bathroom. Facilities include 2 swimming pools, parking and free wifi.

 

De La Costa Hotel

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3 star hotel 700 meters from Encarnacion city center. Rooms have air conditioning, cable TV and minibar. Facilities offer swimming pool, bar, beach entrance, parking and free wifi.

We recommend you use Booking.com to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.



 

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