Exploring the Rich Culture of Chile: The Fiesta de la Tirana
Latin America has a rich history of traditions and festivals, so many in fact we can’t possibly cover them all in this one blog post! In this snapshot blog post we’ll be exploring one of the most well-known Chilean culture festivals.
The Fiesta de la Tirana is a huge festival held every year in Chile during the second week of July. The history of the festival dates back hundreds of years and is rooted in both legend and facts. An Incan princess is said to have refused European and Christian colonization and executed any colonizers on her land. She was beloved for defending her people from being conquered and was titled La Tirana (the tyrant). However, she fell in love with one of these intruders, prompting retribution from her community. Now, Chileans gather every year in the town of La Tirana to celebrate her death and their patron saint, Virgen del Carmen (the Virgin Mary).
The celebrations last 10 days and kick off with different bailes (dances). The bailes and costumes are colorful and expressive, capturing the artistry of Chilean people. Some of the dances honor the Virgin, but others such as Dance of the Devils are just as important. The Dance of the Devils is an example of cultural exchange between Bolivia and Chile. The dance represents the battle between good and evil. Typically male performers dressed in elaborate costumes depicting the devil dance with women dressed as angelic figures.
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