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The Barranquilla Carnival: The Most Colorful Carnival in the World

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    The Barranquilla Carnival: The Most Colorful Carnival in the World

    UNESCO honored the carnival of Barranquilla by declaring it a World Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It is the most-awaited festival of the year by all who wish to enjoy four days of a cultural and folkloric event characterized by ethnic diversity, merriment, dance, music, and entertainment.

    The Carnival …of Barranquilla … is the great stage where the Caribbean way of being is expressed by a gestural, graphic, verbal, and musical language; and dance, color, and costumes. /Rafael Soto Mazenet/ The carnival, described by photographer Enrique García as a thousand theater pieces in just one stage, is the most genuine expression of the Colombian people and a blend of colors, races, legends, gaiety, parties, and musical rhythms likecumbia, mapalé, garabato and son del negro.

    The Barranquilla Carnival
    Origins of the Barranquilla Carnival
    It is the best example of a triple cultural fusion (European, African, and Indian) in which the Catholic festivities brought by the Spaniards from the Old World blended with aboriginal ceremonies and the musical heritage of African slaves to become a spectacular folk festivity. Barranquilla, the place where spider monkeys take you dancing and never let you go.

    Duration of the Carnival
    The Carnival of Barranquilla begins four days before Ash Wednesday and reaches its climax the following Saturday during the Batalla de las Flores (battle of the flowers), where the gaiety and color of the Colombians come face to face in a unique battle of color, flowers, beauty, and peace. Carnival Days

    The carnival takes place over the course of four days. Its most characteristic activities are the following: Batalla de las Flores Since 1903, this Battle of the Flowers is the most symbolic of all celebrations, when the first battle took place and the typical carnival characters were incorporated: Rey Momo, María Moñitas, and Hombre Caimán.

    The Batalla de las Flores is a parade with floats, dance groups, and costumed groups. Among the latter, the following stand out: the marimondas, hooded figures with long noses; and the gigantonas, dwarfs with large heads. The parade is headed by a float from which the queen of the carnival throws flowers while dancing accompanied by a large entourage of princes and princesses. The Grand Parade

    The Desfile de la Gran Parada (the great parade) takes place the following day, Carnival Sunday. The characters are the torito folk dances, the dance ofthe Garabato, and the dances of the hilanderas (spinners).

    Carnival of Blacks and Whites in Pasto: The Largest Meeting of the Races in Colombia Place: Pasto, Nariño
    Región: Pacific
    Date: January 4 – 6, every year
    Duration: 3 days.

    The Carnival of Blacks and Whites in Pasto /Pic.elroquero

    The Carnival of Blacks and Whites, proclaimed National Cultural Heritage in 2002, is celebrated every year between January 4 and 6 in Pasto, an Andean city located in southwestern Colombia, attracting a large number of tourists from all over the country and the world. Historically, the city of Pasto has been the crossroads and the meeting place for various peoples and colonies. Considered the single most significant event in the country for cultural expression of different races, the Blacks and Whites Carnival is an unforgettable experience.

    This is why the celebration of the carnival is an autochthonous cultural sample that perfectly expresses all the cultural influences that have been in play in the region for centuries: rituals and cultural expressions of Indian, Spanish, and African cultures. History of the Carnival

    The origin of the carnival dates back to the ancient times of the agrarian Indian cultures of the Pasto and Quillacinga Indians, who held celebrations in honor of their moon goddess as a way of pleading protection for their crops. Over the course of time, elements from Spanish festivities were added; and later, elements from African feasts, thus consolidating what we call the Carnival of Blacks and Whites. Stages of the Carnival

    The carnival is composed of four stages:
    Pre-carnival
    It begins on December 28 with the Día del Agua (day of the water). On that day, people of all ages go out on the street to “get wet”. That day, anything goes: carfuls of people with containers filled with water, water-filled baloons, hoses, and even fire hydrants make this a special day whose sole purpose is to get soaked. Pre-carnival continues on December 30 with the famous serenade to Pasto, with the best string trios of the Andean region playing. El Carnavalito (the little carnival)

    This activity is for children between the ages of six and fourteen to show their creativity and the cultural heritage of the region. The Castañeda Family Parade

    This is a big parade and the prelude to the actual carnival that takes place on January 4. It evokes the legend according to which in 1928 a group of Pasto inhabitants invited a special family, later called the Castañeda Family, to the feasts. To commemorate the arrival of this family, a large group of people dress up in early twentieth century attire and parade in an attempt to take spectators back to the beginning of the century. This is the first day in which face paint is used. This makes for a huge party on the city streets. El Día de los Negros (day of the blacks)

    It takes place on January 5. That day, people are willing to have “pinticas” (small marks) of black face paint drawn on their clothes, face, arms, and any uncovered part of the body. Platforms are set up for orchestras to play for members of all races and social classes. El Día de los Blancos (day of the whites)

    On January 6, the rules of the game change. Instead of black or color marks, people throw white talcum powder at each other. The festivity starts with another float parade, this time with enormous figures made by artisans, and becomes a fascinating, joyous display of culture. Carnival of Blacks and
    Whites in Pasto: The Largest Meeting of the Races in Colombia Place: Pasto, Nariño

    Región: Pacific
    Date: January 4 – 6, every year
    Duration: 3 days.

    The Carnival of Blacks and Whites in Pasto /Pic.elroquero

    The Carnival of Blacks and Whites, proclaimed National Cultural Heritage in 2002, is celebrated every year between January 4 and 6 in Pasto, an Andean city located in southwestern Colombia, attracting a large number of tourists from all over the country and the world. Historically, the city of Pasto has been the crossroads and the meeting place for various peoples and colonies. Considered the single most significant event in the country for cultural expression of different races, the Blacks and Whites Carnival is an unforgettable experience. This is why the celebration of the carnival is an autochthonous cultural sample that perfectly expresses all the cultural influences that have been in play in the region for centuries: rituals and cultural expressions of Indian, Spanish, and African cultures. History of the Carnival

    The origin of the carnival dates back to the ancient times of the agrarian Indian cultures of the Pasto and Quillacinga Indians, who held celebrations in honor of their moon goddess as a way of pleading protection for their crops.

    Over the course of time, elements from Spanish festivities were added; and later, elements from African feasts, thus consolidating what we call the Carnival of Blacks and Whites. Little by little, other elements were added: make-up, talcum powder, and music. And foremost, the floats with gigantic sculptures built by artisans: Stages of the Carnival

    The carnival is composed of four stages:
    Pre-carnival
    It begins on December 28 with the Día del Agua (day of the water). On that day, people of all ages go out on the street to “get wet”. That day, anything goes: carfuls of people with containers filled with water, water-filled baloons, hoses, and even fire hydrants make this a special day whose sole purpose is to get soaked. Pre-carnival continues on December 30 with the famous serenade to Pasto, with the best string trios of the Andean region playing. El Carnavalito (the little carnival)

    This activity is for children between the ages of six and fourteen to show their creativity and the cultural heritage of the region. The Castañeda Family Parade

    This is a big parade and the prelude to the actual carnival that takes place on January 4. It evokes the legend according to which in 1928 a group of Pasto inhabitants invited a special family, later called the Castañeda Family, to the feasts. To commemorate the arrival of this family, a large group of people dress up in early twentieth century attire and parade in an attempt to take spectators back to the beginning of the century. This is the first day in which face paint is used. This makes for a huge party on the city streets. El Día de los Negros (day of the blacks)

    It takes place on January 5. That day, people are willing to have “pinticas” (small marks) of black face paint drawn on their clothes, face, arms, and any uncovered part of the body. Platforms are set up for orchestras to play for members of all races and social classes. El Día de los Blancos (day of the whites)

    On January 6, the rules of the game change. Instead of black or color marks, people throw white talcum powder at each other. The festivity starts with another float parade, this time with enormous figures made by artisans, and becomes a fascinating, joyous display of culture. MEDELLÍN FERIA DE LAS FLORES

    Medellin Feria de las Flores

    The Feria de las Flores is the major event in Medellín. It’s held every year in the beginning of August and is a unique experience for any traveller: the largest horse outdoor parade in the world, the largest flower outdoor flower show in the world.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When?: From late July to early August, it lasts usually about 10/12 days ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    The highlights of the Feria are the Cabalgata (the horse parade), the Desfile de Silleteros (when up to 400 peasants come down from the mountains and parade with flowers on their backs.

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    The Barranquilla Carnival: The Most Colorful Carnival in the World. (2016, Apr 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-barranquilla-carnival-the-most-colorful-carnival-in-the-world/

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    What is the most important event during Carnaval de Barranquilla?
    The carnival begins on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday with La Batalla de Flores (The Battle of the Flowers) which is the carnival's most important event. It's a six-hour show presided over by the Carnival Queen with folk dancing, fire breathers, live music and colorful floats.
    Why is the Barranquilla Carnival important?
    The Barranquilla Carnival is one of the most important cultural and folkloric celebrations in the country. Each year, the city celebrates the most representative expressions of Barranquilla identity and the Caribbean people of Colombia.

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