A must-see from the North of Argentina: the Carnival of Jujuy - Jujuy - Ser Argentino Skip to main content

A must-see from the North of Argentina: the Carnival of Jujuy

We tell you why the Carnival of Jujuy is a cultural holiday that you have to experience at least once
Carnaval de Jujuy
| 28 March, 2020 |

The celebration of Carnival, in the villages of Northern Argentina, is a cultural expression of pre-Hispanic origin and celebrates the abundance at the time of the harvest.
In Jujuy, the feast begins with the banishment of the devil and culminates — 8 days later — when he is buried again. During that week the streets of the villages throughout the province are filled with music, chopped paper, joy, talc, foam, basil, tempera of colors on the faces, plush hats shaped like mushrooms, and comparsas that make locals and tourists dance on invitation. Everything is carnival-time in the streets of Jujuy.

The devil — who has been unearthed — symbolizes the Sun and is in charge of fertilizing the earth (Pachamama); but he is also the one who will guide the actions of believers to the rhythm of the people who walk the streets drinking Saratoga. Saratoga is a ceremonial drink that is prepared with seasonal fruits and different varieties of alcohol; and while each has its recipe, the most popular include: white wine, rum, gin, and vodka. The cocktail is prepared in a 200-litre container, and is shared between the members of the comparsa and those who continue to dance from invitation to invitation.

Each town has its own comparsa; and in some, as in Tilcara for example, there are more than one. The devils that make up these groups “dig up” and “bury” in their own way and in their Mojón — a mound of stones stacked to summon the devil — but they all coincide in the costumes with mirrors and colors, hidden faces, cheerful music, and several walks through their village visiting homes of neighbors who signed up to receive them.

After the devil’s burial, Jujuy regains his harmony and the colorful hills are once again the protagonists of the place.

Recommendations to enjoy the Carnival of Jujuy

  1. Enjoy it with respect. It should not be forgotten that it is an ancestral cultural festival very longed for and felt by the inhabitants of the area. Respect for the Mojón, the devils that make up the comparsas, the blessing of talc, and every sacred ritual that makes up the Carnival, is necessary so that the essence of what is celebrated is not lost.
  2. Move well in advance; if you plan to enjoy the Carnival in the Quebrada de Humahuaca keep in mind that National Route 9 is usually collapsed on Saturday of the banishment . If possible, you should settle there from Friday night before Carnival begins.
  3. Check the calendar of festivities during Carnival week at any tourist information point. Celebrations are held
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