In three of the best and oldest carnivals in Latin America include Carnival of Oruro, say residents of Bolivia most important cultural event of the year. In 2001, he was enlisted by UNESCO as masterpieces of the oral and immaterial heritage of mankind.
The history of the carnival has its roots back in the pre-Columbian era. Then the people of the tradition to celebrate the holiday Ito, dedicated to the Goddess Mother. After some time, due to the syncretism between religions this holiday becomes a symbol of the Virgin Mary.
In the seventeenth century, while the reigning Spanish, Ito ceremony was discontinued, yet it did not prevent continue to hold festivals, but only now Indian deities were replaced by Christian icons.
Legend has it that in 1789 the richest silver mines of Oruro somehow turned fresco of the Virgin Mary. Following these events, the carnival began to pass near the church of mine.
Every year the festival involved a huge number of dancers and musicians. For three days and nights, and it is so much last major part of the carnival, with musical accompaniment of people dancing folk dances.
Two theatrical performances, reminiscent of medieval mystery show the climax of the festival. One of them is certainly talks about the Spanish conquest, but the second - about the Battle of the Archangel Michael with dark forces and deadly sins, where he comes out the winner. By the way, this formulation was proposed in 1818 by Catholic priests.