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The Carnival of Tilcara, the previous and the opening

We tell you all about this traditional festival of northern Argentina.


Tilcara takes place a unique carnival celebration in the world. A tax of the deep-rooted indigenous traditions of the peoples that inhabit it, the city even owes its name to the ancient tribes who made it its home.
Located 84 kilometers from the capital of Jujuy, on the eastern bank of the Rio Grande, it is close to emblematic tourist points of the province, such as the Quebrada de Humahuaca and the Pucará de Tilcara, a fort built on the top of a hill, more than 2500 meters above sea level.
The celebrations begin in Tilcara 15 days before Carnival Saturday, when the carnival devil is unearthed, responsible for the week of parties that pass until his burial. The Thursday of Compadre is the opening shot: the day is dedicated to the men, who meet to recite the first coplas of the year.
A week later, the tribute for women arrives, during the Thursday of Comadre: drinks and meals are invited in the square and in the market, and they also share the carnival verses throughout the afternoon.
The most anticipated day is the Desburial Saturday. It is time to venerate the Pachamama — mother earth — and to make offerings to free the carnival and let it fill the streets with the joy and color that characterize it. A cluster of stones known as El Mojon keeps the devil buried, and by this time it is decorated with garlands, flowers and cooking spices, and watered it with alcoholic beverages.
The parties in charge of carrying the baton of the festivities approach the Mojon, each with its own masked devil — or Pu Jillay —, which enter the well that was dug next to the stones and emerge from it as a symbol of the burial.
The joy, drink and typical meals fill the air immediately, and for a week all Tilcara shines in the light of the carnival.

Source: About Argentina

Publication Date: 15/02/2019

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