When the devil is loose
Most of the year, Tilcara (Jujuy)is a quiet village. Between its dusty streets and its buildings with the colors of the earth, calm and silence reign that feels as if time had stopped. But when the devilis loose, everything changes. When the devilis loose, everything is allowed. Once a year, during carnivals, Tilcaraand neighboring villages are filled with color, party and joy. Religious beliefs and paganasare mixed and celebrated, and everything begins at a precise moment: with the banishment of the devil, a small doll symbolizing the sun that, for the locals, is in charge of fertilizing the Pachamama. It is said that the devildescends from the hills and mimics himself with the villagers. That’s why it’s hard to recognize it, to know who’s who, who’s carrying it with him and who’s not. Colorful costumes and masks help to confuse identities at a party where anonymity allows the celebration to be unleashed. Most of the year, Tilcarais a quiet village. If you want to meet him in its most colorful facet and live an unusual experience, it’s better to visit him in February, before the devilis buried again and calm returns to his streets until the following year.
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