Festivals in Latin America
There are many festivals throughout Latin America but one of the most vibrant and colourful is Carnival, celebrated a week before Lent, and it is most famous in Brazil (Rio, Salvador or Recife). Semana Santa (Holy week), which ends on Easter Sunday, is best seen in Guatemala, where colourful sawdust carpets and flowers line the streets where the processions take place. There is also a big celebration in Popayan in Colombia. For Inca traditions, Inti Raymi in Cusco, Peru is a must-see. On the run up to Independence Day in Mexico, the national flags and displays can be seen on the streets. In Masaya, Nicaragua one can enjoy the Feast of San Jeronimo (as well as the year-round huge Arts and Crafts Market there). Celebrations during this week include fairs, parades, songfests and partying, as well as visits to nearby Granada and Lake Nicaragua. The Day of the Dead is marked by vigils held at cemeteries to entertain returning souls - best seen in Michoacan state in Mexico. Todos los Santos is celebrated with a colourful kite festival in Santiago Sacatepequez in Guatemala and there are also week-long celebrations in Todos Santos, including a drunken horse race. The colourful children’s parade Paso del Niño Viajero is just before Christmas in Cuenca, Ecuador and all over Mexico they have posadas which are traditional parties for children. New Year’s Eve is celebrated with a difference on the beaches of Rio, Brazil, where followers of Candomblé, the Afro-Brazilian religion, make offerings of flowers, mirrors, trinkets, and perfumes to the powerful sea goddess Yemanjá. Easter Island celebrates an annual Tapati traditional festival.
February/March - Carnival (Brazil), February - Tapati festival (Easter Island), March/April - Semana Santa (Guatemala, Colombia), June - Corpus Cristi is celebrated all over Latin America, 24th June - Inti Raymi (Cusco, Peru), 15th September - Independence Day (Mexico), 27th Sep-8th Oct - Feast of San Jeronimo (Masaya, Nicaragua), 1st / 2nd November - Todos los Santos & Day of the Dead (Mexico and Guatemala), November - Gaucho Festival in San Antonio de Areco (Argentina), December - Paso del Niño Viajero (Cuenca, Ecuador), 31st December - New Year (Brazil).
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