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Potosí Carnival, Bolivia

Los carnavales en Tarija es la celebración más esperada. La gente sale a la calle a festejar con ropas coloridas y música tradicional
Tarija Carnival, Bolivia
La figura de la Reina del Carnaval en el carnaval de Santa Cruz de la Sierra es de gran importancia y se celebra desde hace décadas
Santa Cruz de la Sierra Carnival, Bolivia

 

What is the Carnival in Potosí?

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The carnival of Potosí or Carnaval Minero, is a celebration that takes place every year in the town of Potosí, Bolivia. It is a somewhat peculiar celebration, as it is held by the miners who work nearby and its purpose is to venerate Tata K’ajcha, a religious figure that the miners consider “the father of the miners“.

Hundreds of miners are part of the celebration, all of them are the workers of the cooperatives and are members of the fraternities and the different folklore groups that carry out the celebration. Likewise, these same groups are the ones who carry out the carnival ceremonies, such as the entrance and parade in the vicinity of the mine, as well as sale of food and drink.

 

 

Miners celebrate these festivities as a way ofhonoring and continuing good luck within the mines, especially in the month of February, considered the crazy month, and thus preventing the Mine Uncle (the counterpart of Tata K’sjcha) from causing any harm to the workers. In addition, the Pacha Mama and different religious images are also venerated.

 

During the Potosí carnival parade, traditional music is played and typical clothing is worn

During the Potosí carnival parade, traditional music is played and typical clothing is worn

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When is the Carnival in Potosí?

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TheCarnival of Potosí, also known as the Mining Carnival of Potosí, takes place during the months of February and March.

 

 

History of the Carnivals in Potosí

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The carnivals of Potosí or Carnaval Minero have their beginnings in the year 1940, when the boss and employees of the mine propose to carry out the celebration 5 days before the “Jueves de Compadres“. It was thus that for about 80 years the Miners Carnivals have been performing ceremonies and rites for good fortune and the protection of the miners during their days.



Where is the Carnival in Potosí?

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The Carnival of Potosí or Carnaval Minero takes place in the Villa Imperial de Potosí in the province of Tomás Frías, Bolivia. Some highlights within the celebration are: the Sumaj Ork’o, and Avenida El Minero.

 

The carnival parade of Potosí is carried out by the federation of miners or relatives

The carnival parade of Potosí is carried out by the federation of miners or relatives

 

How is the Carnival celebrated in Potosí?

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One of the most important celebrations is the Grand entrance of the miners, also known as the descent of the Tata Ck’accha, which consists of the parade and the presence of the various fraternities that are part of the folklore ceremonies. Also, the dancers of the mining cooperatives are present.

Usually, the groups get together and make presentations of traditional or autochthonous dances of the locality of Potosí, making known the different traditions and typical costumes. The dances and the parade are accompanied by musical groups or the miners themselves who take advantage of the occasion to play the different typical instruments. Likewise, people make thedescent with several religious images, among them, the Virgen de la Candelaria.

In addition, the ritual of Ch’alla and the koa, this is a ritual of veneration that is linked to the Pacha Mama and the protective gods, which consists of sprinkling spirits and other elements of religious value on the ground. In this way, the Pacha Mama is fed with flowers, food, coca leaves and alcohol.

Once the ceremony is over, they go down with the image of Tata K’ajcha to the different local points parading and celebrating.

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

 

Tips for going to the Carnivals in Potosi

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If you wish to visit the Potosi Carnival or Carnaval Minero, we recommend you to plan your trip in advance. Also, we recommend you to make a travel itinerary with all the activities you want to do during or after the carnival celebrations. Finally, we recommend you to book the type of accommodation you want to get, whether it is a hotel or an inn. This way, you can guarantee that your trip to the carnivals of Potosi will go off without a hitch.

Also, we remind you to pack comfortable shoes and clothes to wear during the celebrations.

 

Events in Carnival in Potosi

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On Saturday at 8:00 am there is the Carnival entrance, which is carried out by the mining workers, the miners’ fraternities and the different organizations that are part of the Departmental Federation of Mining Cooperatives of Potosí..

Once the ceremony begins, dozens of people gather performing folklore dances wearing distinctive colorful costumes of the region, accompanied by music instrumented by the different groups of the area. In the bocamina of the enclosure, the ch’alla and koa ritual is performed, followed by the descent and the parade through the different streets and avenues of the town.

 

 

The ceremony has religious elements where they venerate Tata Ck’accha, hoping for good fortune in their working days and hoping that the Uncle of the mines does not escape or decide to cause misfortune to the mine workers.

 

The image of Tata K'aicha accompanies the miners in the carnival of Potosí

The image of Tata K’aicha accompanies the miners in the carnival of Potosí

 

Carnival Parades in Potosi

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The parade takes place with all the fraternities and groupings of the miners who carry typical costumes and perform traditional dances. Likewise, the route and the different worship rituals are marked by traditional music.

 

Parade route

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The carnival parade of Potosí goes through the different localities of the city

The carnival parade of Potosí goes through the different localities of the city

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The parade crosses the Pailaviri Bridge, as well as El Minero Avenue, Hernández or Surco streets and ends at the different headquarters of their organizations.

 

Puchero potosino is a traditional dish that is composed of beef, chickpeas and rice

Puchero potosino is a traditional dish that is composed of beef, chickpeas and rice

 

What to eat during Carnival in Potosi

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One of the dishes you can get during carnivals is the Puchero potosino, a dish consisting of beef, vegetables, rice, chickpeas and tubers. Also, you can find the Chambergos, a flour doughnut covered with sugar.

Likewise, the city of Potosi offers you some places to eat out, some of these are: Cafe Potocchi, 4060 and El Empedradillo.

 

Chambergos are typical donuts of the region covered with sugar

Chambergos are typical donuts of the region covered with sugar

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Travel Insurance

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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 insurance. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside the Carnival in Potosi

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Within the carnival of Potosi you have the incredible opportunity to see with your own eyes the parades that are carried out by the fraternities and miners’ organizations. Also, you will witness the rituals of venerationthat take place once you arrive at the mouths of the mines.

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 of Carnivals in Potosi

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Some of the attractions you can visit while in Potosí are:

 

The Toro Toro National Park

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This park is constituted by a protected area of the country. The park is administered by SERNAP and has at least 329 species of 329 flora and another 600 species of plants. There are also 49 species of fauna characteristic of the park.

 

Laguna Colorada

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This lagoon is characterized by the breeding of Andean flamingos. The water is rich in minerals and you can see areas of pink water product of the different components of the soil and sediments.

 

The National Mint of Bolivia

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It is a museum and historical archive that was created in 1940 in the former Royal Mint of Potosi, whose foundation dates back to 1572.

In addition, 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 Carnivals in Potosi

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The city of Potosi is relatively safe. However, we recommend some caution when traveling and keep your personal belongings in a safe place.

Your best friend on this trip is common sense and take the same precautions you would take in your hometown. Also, we recommend the following products to keep your belongings safe:

 

 

Carnival Weather in Potosí

 

The weather in Potosí during Carnival is somewhat cold, with temperatures ranging between 4 and 15 degrees Celsius.

 

During the Potosí carnival parade, traditional music is played and typical clothing is worn

During the Potosí carnival parade, traditional music is played and typical clothing is worn

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How to get to the Carnivals in Potosi

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How to get there by plane

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The closest and most convenient airport to get to the city of Potosí, is the Aeropuerto Internacional de Alcantarí, which receives a good number of domestic and some international flights. Once here, you can move to the city of Potosí through the different means of transportation.

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 the airport, you can take a cab or private vehicle to the city of Sucre. Once there, take a bus that will take you directly to Potosí.

From La Paz you can take a bus directly to Potosi. The journey takes 9 hours.

 

How to get there by car

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From the airport take Highway 5 to Potosí.

In La Paz you can take Road 1 to Potosí.

 

Where to stay during Carnival in Potosi

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Booking.com

 

Hostal Tukos La Casa Real

3-star hostel 550 meters from the center. Rooms have private bathrooms and cable TV. Facilities offer wifi, airport transfers and bar.

 

Hostal Patrimonio – Potosi

4-star hostel 200 meters from the city center. Rooms have television and terrace. Facilities include free wifi and parking.

 

Hotel Gran Libertador

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Hotel 250 meters from the center. Rooms have cable TV and private bathrooms. The hotel offers free parking, internet and rides to the airport.

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



 

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