How to dance ecuadorian music
The 5 Most Popular Traditional Ecuadorian Dances
The traditional dances of Ecuador they are very diverse, which is mainly due to the fact that their rhythms have been mixed or fused with foreign rhythms as a consequence of colonialism and the mixture of races.
Most of these dances originate in the Ecuadorian highlands and although some arose in the pre-Columbian era, the European influence in some cases and African in others is quite remarkable in its evolution over the years.
In the traditional dances of Ecuador, the religious aspect stands out since many of these rhythms have links with ancient rituals carried out in religious celebrations promoted by devotion.
Although at present many of the instruments used to execute these rhythms have foreign origins, the natives of the region had their own before the arrival of the Europeans, such as the pingullo, the rondador, the dulzaina, among others.
Next, five traditional dances from Ecuador.1- The Hall
From European origins (to be more precise, from the Austrian waltz), this musical genre had its beginning in the neighboring country, Colombia, during the independence war in the Colombian Andes, later moving to Ecuador and later moving to other countries of the American continent. , how to be:
- Costa Rica
- The Savior
The name"Hall"is a diminutive of the word"step", referring to the short steps of the dance routine, and has three representative ways of putting it into practice:
1- Slow instrumental hall : strongly related to serenades, the slow instrumental corridor is usually linked to nostalgia, mourning, memories, love, disappointments and moments of peace and rest.
2- Party instrumental hall : with a much more lively rhythm, this version is linked to all kinds of parties and events, such as weddings and bullfights.
3- Choreographic hall : very similar to the party instrumental hall used for group choreography. Currently, this representation of the Hall is in disuse.
The most common musical instruments in this dance are the guitar, the piano, the flute, the violin, the tambourine, the harp, among others.2- The Sanjuanito
This dance exists before the arrival of the Spanish thirds to the American continent and was carried out by the Incas during the rituals of worship of Inti (God of the Sun).
The name"Sanjuanito"has Spanish influence due to the date of birth of San Juan Bautista (the twenty-fourth of June).
The Sanjuanito was popularized in the 20th century, and is a festive and cheerful genre that can be heard in all the events (urban and rural) of Ecuador, dancing in groups holding hands in circles. Some very popular Sanjuanitos are:
- Sanjuanito from my land
- Poor heart
- The crying of my quena
To interpret the Sanjuanito, both native instruments (bandolín, dulzaina, rondaror, pingullo, etc. ) and foreign instruments (guitar, bass drum, quena, zampoña, etc.) are used and the usual dance attire consists of red garments, espadrilles white, hats of various colors and accessories like necklaces.3- The Albazo
The name"Albazo"derives from the serenades that were played at dawn to announce the beginning of the popular festivals and its origin goes back to the Spanish when they at dawn played a music in the days of pilgrimage and religious festivals.
Albazo rhythm is cheerful and moved, played by local bands in their entirety, and the most common instruments used are the requinto (small guitar with four strings) and the Creole guitar. Some of the most popular topics are:
- This old guitar
- Taita Salasaca
- My life is gone
The albazo has influences from other Spanish-speaking countries of the continent such as Argentina (the zamba), Chile (the cueca) and Peru (the Peruvian sailor).4- Bomba del Chota
This musical rhythm has its origins in Valle del Chota, and its creators are the afro-descendants of the area.
La Bomba de Chota is a moved rhythm and is danced together in an erotic way; Hip movements are also a complement to this rhythm. The basic instruments used are strings (guitar and requinto) and percussion (güiro).
In particular, this music is not very popular throughout the country; he listens and dances only at the fiestas of Valle de Chota at his local fiestas, and his audience is usually of indigenous and mestizo origin.
As for the costumes, men wear a shirt (long sleeves) and black pants. On the women's side, they dress in pompous blouses, pleated skirts, petticoats, underwear and bottles on the head in some occasions.5- The Capishca
The Capishca is a moved rhythm heard mainly in the provinces of Azuay and Chimborazo ( inter-Andean region of Ecuador ). The name"Capishca"means"squeeze"and comes from Quichua (verb"capina").
This rhythm is very similar to that of Sanjuanito. During this dance, the male dancer must put his physical condition to the test to dazzle his partner by skillful movements.
The clothing of men is quite simple: a shirt and pants with samarras. On the women's side, they wear two skirts (one raised and one underneath), they have several accessories on their heads, nylon stockings on their legs and cowhide shoes.
Although in some regions the traditional spirit of the country's history is still being discussed, the adolescent public tends to identify more with other types of musical genres.
The musical genres such as reggae, rock and roll, pop, jazz, blues or electronics, have an important demand more than anything in the Ecuadorian youth, especially in the inhabitants of urban areas, prioritizing this type of art before the traditional one.
Also, do not forget the Colombian cumbia, a musical rhythm that has a public of all ages and social classes in the country.References
- Coba Andrade, C. (1994). Dances and dances in Ecuador. Quito, Ecuador: Abya-Yala Editions.
- Carvalho. (1994). Anthology of Ecuadorian folklore . Quito: Ecuadorian association of tourism business executives Abya-Yala.
- Rasines, P. (2001). Afro-descendence in Ecuador: race and gender since colonial times . Quito, Ecuador: Abya-Yala Editions.
- Paz, H. (2000). Legends and traditions of Ecuador . Quito, Ecuador: Abya-Yala Editions.
- University of Cuenca. (nineteen ninety five). The indigenous religious festival in Ecuador . Quito: Abya-Yala EBI Project.
Traditional dances from Ecuador - South America
Traditional dances from Ecuador – South America
As you may know by now, if you have already read some of my posts, Ecuador is located in the equator, latitude 0, and nestled in the Andes Cordillera. This creates some unique conditions for the country, which despite its small size, is rather culturally diverse.
Folklore in Ecuador takes many forms. I will focus today’s article on its folkloric dances.
If you would like to explore some of the top places in Ecuador, here are some of our suggestions.If you are in South America, I would love to see your pictures.Ecuador’s population
But, what makes this country so diverse and, at the same time, its folkloric dances so special has to do especially with the different mix of its population.
Most of the population is mestizo, a mixture of European and Incas or other indigenous groups, and then there is a small 10% of Afro-Ecuadorians. There is a 10% of European descent, being Italy, France, Spain and Germany main countries of descent.
Thus, not uncommon to find in the bigger cities International Schools for French, Italian, German, English speakers and courses to learn these languages.
Among mestizos, we have included indigenous groups, and it is worth noting that Ecuador has 14 ethnic groups, each with its special traditions, dialect, and dances.
Here are two short videos of some folkloric dances in Ecuador and Latin America. I will show you some of the traditional clothing and dances in the country and continent.
About the video:
The first part was performed by the indigenous group from Imbabura, located two hours north of Quito. Their beautiful bright and colorful embroidered blouses have designs inspired by ancient civilizations located in the Andes.
The second group of dancers is from Pujili, from Tungurahua, located South of Quito.
The third and last group conformed by the chagras (Andean cowboys) from Machachi in the province of Pichinca, not far away from Quito.
About this video:
The first part of the video performed by a couple is tango, a popular dance from the 80s. It started in Río de la Plata, near Argentina and Uruguay
The second dance is the well-known samba from Brazil. A lively, colorful and vibrant dance.
Then at the end you will find a medley with some of the traditional songs and dances from Cuba, including:
And this video below is of one of the festivities celebrated by de inhabitants in Latacunga, located to the South of Quito.
Folkloric dances in Ecuador will vary according to region, indigenous group, and location. In addition to traditional dances, you get to admire traditional clothing depending on the group performing.
Are you planning a trip there soon? Comment below or send me an email, I can help you with more tips.
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If you want more in-depth information and a guide that you can bring along during your trip, I recommend Lonely Planet Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands.
This is an excellent source of information and tips, maps, and all you need if you plan on visiting Ecuador. I personally like the option of having a hard copy version where I can take notes and have at hand.Don’t just dream it. Make it happen. Plan your South American trip with a local!
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Top 5 Traditional Ecuadorian Dances / General Culture | Thpanorama
traditional dances of Ecuador they are very diverse, mainly due to their rhythms mixing or merging with foreign rhythms as a result of colonialism and racial mixing.
Most of these dances originated in the Ecuadorian highlands, and although some of them originated in the pre-Columbian era, the European influence in some cases and the African influence in others is quite noticeable in its evolution over the years.
In the traditional dances of Ecuador, the religious aspect stands out, since many of these rhythms are associated with ancient rituals performed at religious festivals promoted by devotion.
Although nowadays many of the instruments used to perform these rhythms are of foreign origin , the locals had their own before the arrival of Europeans, such as pingullo, rondador, dulzaina and others. .
Next are five traditional dances from Ecuador.
Of European origin (more precisely, from the Austrian waltz), this musical genre originated in a neighboring country, Colombia, during the war of independence in the Colombian Andes, later moving to Ecuador, and then moving to other countries of the American continent. What is it:
- Costa Rick
The name "Step" is a diminutive from the word "step" belonging to the short steps of the dancing routine, and has three characteristic method its application in practice:
1- Slow instrumental room Slow instrumental corridor, closely associated with the serenade, often associated with nostalgia, mourning, memories, love, disappointment and moments of peace and quiet..
2- with a more lively rhythm, this version is associated with all kinds of parties and events, such as weddings and bullfights.
3- Choreography Hall : very similar to a party instrumental hall used for group choreography. This view of the hall is currently not in use.
The most common musical instruments in this dance are the guitar, piano, flute, violin, tambourine, harp and others. worship of Inti (Sun God).
The name "Sanjuanito" has a Spanish influence due to the date of birth of San Juan Bautista (June 24th).
Sanjuanito was popularized in the 20th century and is a festive and fun genre that resounds in all events (urban and rural) of Ecuador's festivities, dancing in groups, holding hands in circles. Some very popular Sanjuanitos:
- Sanjuanito from my country
- Poor heart
- Cry of my quena
To interpret the sanjuanito, both local instruments (bandolin, dulzaina, rondaror, pingullo, etc.), tak and foreign instruments are used , bass drum, quena, zampoña, etc.), while the usual dancewear consists of red pieces of clothing, white espadrilles, hats of various colors, and accessories such as necklaces.
The name "Albazo" comes from the serenades played at dawn to announce the beginning of popular festivals, and its origin goes back to the Spaniards when they played music at dawn during pilgrimages and religious holidays.
The rhythm of Albazo is cheerful and agile, performed entirely by local bands, and the most common instruments are the requinto (a small four-string guitar) and the creole guitar. Some of the most popular themes:
- This old guitar
- Taita Salasaka
- My life is gone
Albazo has influences from other Spanish-speaking countries of the continent such as Argentina (zamba), Chile (la cueca) and Peru (la marinera peruana).
4- Bomba del Chota
This musical rhythm has its origins in Valle del Chota and originates from Africa.
La Bomba de Chota is rhythm driven and dancing erotically; The hip movements are also complementary to this rhythm. The main instruments used are strings (guitar and requinto) and percussion (guiro).
In particular, this music is not very popular throughout the country; he only listens and dances at the Chota Valley festivities at his local festivities, and his audience is usually of indigenous and mestizo origin.
In terms of wardrobe, men wear a shirt (long sleeves) and black trousers. On the women's side, they dress in pompous blouses, pleated skirts, petticoats, underwear, and bottles on their heads on some occasions.
Capishca is a moving rhythm that can be heard mainly in the provinces of Azuay and Chimborazo (Ecuador's Inter-Gand region). The name "Capishca" means "squeeze" and comes from Quichua (the verb "capina").
This rhythm is very similar to the Sanjuanito rhythm. During this dance, the dancer must test his physical condition in order to dazzle his partner with skillful movements. On the women's side, they wear two skirts (one up and one down), put various accessories on their heads, nylon stockings on their feet, and cowhide shoes. identify with other types of musical genres..
Music genres such as reggae, rock 'n' roll, pop, jazz, blues or electronica are most in demand among Ecuadorian youth, especially in cities where this type of music is given priority. art before traditional.
Also, don't forget the Colombian cumbia, a musical rhythm that has an audience of all ages and social classes in the country. Dancing and dancing in Ecuador. Quito, Ecuador: Abya Yala Editions.
Culture of Ecuador ✈️ Tour Log Book
The culture of Ecuador is a mixture of different traditions that originated in the Andes, the Ecuadorian Amazon or along the coast. After the arrival of the Spaniards, Catholic traditions entered the Ecuadorian identity, which are now deeply rooted in the national culture. In the festivals and holidays of Ecuador, the traditions and customs of the local people are intertwined.
Approximately 40 to 65 percent of the population is mestizo. It is a mixture of indigenous and Spanish origin. Another 20 to 25 percent of Ecuadorians consider themselves indigenous. Four percent of Ecuador's population lives in the Amazon Basin (also known as the Oriente).
Zamaqueca and fandango
The most important rhythms or musical genres for Ecuador are zamaqueca and fandango. Originating with the arrival of the Spaniards, the Ecuadorians adopted these rhythms, adding their own interpretation to them, thus creating typical music.
La Bomba del Chota
Descendant of an African musical genre originating from the Chota Valley
This is the rhythm created by the majority of the Afro-Ecuadorian population of this valley. It is usually played on drums along with other instruments such as the guitar, requinto or guiro.
This is a musical genre of Andean music that is heard and danced in Ecuador, especially in the provinces of Chimborazo and Azuay.
Or popularly called Sanjuanito, is an autochthonous musical genre, one of the most widespread and popular in Ecuador.
This is a musical genre from the Ecuadorian highlands. She is of Creole and Mestizo descent. It has a fun rhythm and is usually played with guitar and requinto. It is also often played by the village orchestra.
It is an artistic expression of rock music that appeared in Ecuador in the 60s of the last century.
Flourished in the 80s and 90s of the 20th century. The music of Europe and America has an influence on the prok of the country. In Ecuadorian rock, the presence of elements of national genres is strong. From which sub-genres were formed at the local level, known as long - metal and Ecuadorian free - rock.
Festivals and Celebrations
Ecuador's festivals are probably one of the most vibrant and cultural traditions in South America when it comes to holidays and celebrations. Immersion in rich cultural traditions is probably one of the best ways to get to know a country and its people.
Rodeo Montubio - Costa
This tradition was born from cowboys who live in the countryside, especially on the coast of Ecuador. As part of the rodeo, participants demonstrate the customs of their regions. Skills acquired during daily work in the hacienda. For the Montubia community in Ecuador, the rodeo is a celebration where cowboys come to celebrate the name of their hacienda or the association they represent.
Feast of the Innocent Saints
It is celebrated on January 6, when people take to the streets with all sorts of hairstyles. Jokes and anecdotes demonstrate the innocence of people. This is a tradition that involves many people who take to the streets in a variety of costumes. The groups organize a parade where the most outstanding national and international events and characters of the past year are recreated.
Rodeo de Salitre - Costa
The rodeo, held every year on October 12 in this city, is a popular tradition. This representation of the Montubian tradition includes certain elements. Such as riding, domesticating wild horses or foals by men and women. A representation of the haciendas that exist on the coast of Ecuador, to name but a few.
Ribbon Dance or Tucuman - Sierra
Tucuman, consists of twelve contradanzes that weave it, a Magway pole about 5 meters long. This pole crowns the flag of Ecuador. Hanging from the top of said pole are 12 tin ribbons 7 meters long, which can be even longer. This stick is held on the ground by several rukok or hookahs, and the dancers of the quadrille weave and unweave their work. In this dance of ribbons, twelve, sixteen, twenty or thirty-two contradictions can be performed.
His practice can be seen at religious festivals. It has become an important element of the element's educational folklore. In this sense, in various schools or colleges, students perform this type of dance outside the context of a traditional ritual.
El Voto - Oriente
This custom is typical of the indigenous peoples of eastern Ecuador. It is held at meetings and holidays that take place in the community. Consists of an exhibition on the table of a jug or fountain adorned with roasted guinea pigs and birds. As well as special bread, which is a true representative of Ecuadorian cuisine. The traditions of this region are rosca bread, bull or huahua. In addition, various fruits and intertwined sugar canes as a decoration.
Corpus Christi Traditional Festival
Since the founding of the city of Cuenca, this tradition has been maintained through a fusion of the religious and the secular. Where the Holy Communion or Jesus in the Sacrament is worshiped through processions and ceremonies for 7 nights in June.
Festival of the Sun
This is one of the most important festivals for Ecuadorians. The origin of this tradition dates back to the colonial era. It is celebrated in June and July to commemorate the summer solstice.
This period pays homage to the Sun, considered one of the most important gods for the indigenous peoples. This party usually takes place in Imbabura. However, similar events occur in Otavalo.
One of the traditions or events is that a group of indigenous people take over the area. This makes it possible to present some of the historical elements of great importance for Ecuador. Such as the uprising against the Spanish yoke during the conquests.
Holy Week in Ecuador is a deeply religious tradition that gathers cult characters in a procession recreating Christ's ascent to Golgotha.
Semana Santa starts on the second Sunday in April. Once on one of the many processions, you can immerse yourself in the traditions of the Ecuadorians. However, the procession of Jesus del Gran Podera, which takes place in the beautiful historic center of Quito, is not to be missed.
Today, the festival dedicated to Inti, the sun god of the Incas, is still held in the Andes and is known as Inti Raimi. In the city of Cotacachi, the largest festival of Inti Raimi takes place. It takes place at the end of June during the summer solstice.
The festival lasts over a week. Residents of nearby indigenous villages walk in procession to the city. Wearing black pointed hats and goatskin headdresses. They gather in the town square and dance, sing and blow the shell horn.
The main party of the festival is held on June 2nd. The party includes traditional dances (San Juan) and drinks (Chicha de Jora). A colorful and joyful event symbolizing new beginnings. The Festival of the Sun is a deeply rooted Andean tradition. Inti Raimi is a celebration and gratitude to the sun. The celebration also coincides with the harvest season and the end of the Andean agricultural cycle.
Celebrated in the culture of the indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian Highlands. Occurs shortly before planting crops in September. The annual rains are about to begin and the locals use this holiday to pay tribute to the land and ask for a good growing season.
Most communities have three days of dancing, music, and socializing. Of course, no party in Ecuador is complete without a huge table of food. Therefore, you will be treated to chicken and vegetable soup, stewed pork, potatoes, corn and much more.
Dia de los Difuntos
The Ecuadorian version of the Day of the Dead, which takes place from late October to early November. This event is an opportunity for people to honor and remember their deceased loved ones. Families prepare bread in the form of babies and colada marada (thick fruit drink). Together with other treats, they have a picnic on the graves of their ancestors. Families often invite their expatriate friends to come along and experience this tradition and feeling with them.
Ecuadorian Mardi Gras
The date of the Carnival changes from year to year. The reason is that it is a deeply Catholic tradition. Carnival should take place on Monday and Tuesday. 40 days before Easter every year, before the period of Catholic fasting.
In Ecuador, the festival includes an ancient local tradition of celebrating the second moon by throwing flowers, water and flour. This is a period of celebration and abundance before fasting. Although it occurs throughout the country, Guaranda and Ambato are the main bearers of the tradition.
Yamor Festival started 52 years ago. This is a celebration of the union of the cultures of the peoples of Otavalo. It combines the celebration of Koya Raimi (the ritual of the moon and sun as elements of fertility) with Catholic traditions.
The word "Yamor" refers to a traditional drink that is brewed using seven varieties of corn. Is unique to this area.
This drink is freely bottled during the holidays. This is how the indigenous peoples of Kichwa Kayambi and Kichwa Otavalo honor the Andean agricultural cycle. Paying special attention to corn, which is considered a symbol of fertility. The festivities include processions, music, dancing in the streets, fireworks, cockfights, mock bullfights and lots of fun. It is possible to take a two-day trip to Otavalo during the Inti Raimi season to get up close and personal with the festival.
La Mama Negra
The festival takes place in the city of Latacunga in Ecuador at the end of September and again during the week of November. La Mama Negra is one of the oldest festivals in the city. It reflects the diversity of cultural influences of the Spaniards, Aymara, Incas, Maya and African ancestors.
The streets of the city are crowded to see the parade of legendary characters. Who distribute blessings with sweets and homemade beer. The festival was established after the eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano in 1742. The locals asked Our Lady of Mercy, the patroness of Cotopaxi, to spare Latacunga. Then the city escaped the wrath of the volcano, an annual holiday was held in her honor.
Burning of El Viejo Ano on December 31st
This is one of the funniest holidays in Ecuador that takes place at the end of the year. This is due to various traditions, but the most famous is the burning of the Año Viejo (Old Year) doll. This effigy of newspapers, sawdust and cardboard depicts politicians, personalities or even loved ones. They symbolize the experiences and events of the past year. Burning symbolizes the beginning of new experiences and future improvements.
Fiesta de las Frutas y las Flores
Carnival celebrations in the city of Ambato have a different flavor than in the rest of the country. Playing with water, flour, eggs or carnival foam is prohibited here. Instead, the people of this city put on a colorful and elegant festival each year, known as the Fruit and Flower Festival.
The holiday begins with the blessing of flowers, fruits and bread, which is a Catholic tradition. It symbolically appreciates the abundance of these products in the region. During the ceremony, the church altar is decorated with spectacular religious figures. Which consist of flowers, fruits and bread. The festivities continue with programs such as the Brotherhood Parade. In which thousands of young people from different educational institutions participate with their combat squads and comparases.
In addition, the "Night tour" is a tour during which beautiful floats decorated with flowers and fruits are displayed. A folklore festival, festivals, gastronomic and music festivals and concerts are also organized. Preparations for the holiday take several months, around August they begin to prepare the numbers that will be included in the show.
Jueves De Comadres Y Compadres
In the specific case of Cuenca, the carnival presents characteristics that make it unique. Or because of the exquisite gastronomy typical of this region. Or because of the customs that are still preserved among some of its inhabitants. One of them, which practically disappeared for a while, but was saved, is the Thursday of associates and comrades.
This tradition, which began two weeks before Carnival (Thursday), was intended to strengthen the bonds of friendship and solidarity. Companions and comrades were chosen depending on the degree of kinship or friendship that existed with them. The chosen person was presented with a “guagua” (girl) made of bread or sugar. Which was delivered to a colleague wrapped in the traditional way - in the form of a tamale - on a tray with flower petals.
Along with a figurine made of bread or sugar, it was customary to bring small offerings, which could be sweets, eggs, chicken, etc. The ritual continued on the part of the elite, the comrades offer visitors a glass of mistela (brandy with macerated fruit). It is suggested to attend carnival parties in the homes of those who requested comadrazgo or compadrasgo.
Currently, Cuenca celebrates "Thursday of Comrades and Comrades". The municipality of the city organizes a grand party where a popular public figure is chosen. Such as fellow or companion of the carnival in Cuenca, he acts as the host of the festivities and seeks to promote the city in the tourist field.
One of the most important festivals of the Andean calendar. It is celebrated with special pomp in the province of Cañar during the carnival. In this festival, which is a flowering, Pachamama (Mother Earth) gives thanks for the harvest. And families visit each other to share the fruits of the farm.
A mythical character known as Taita Carnival stands out at the party. Which, according to legend, descends from the hills every year at midnight on Carnival Monday. Dressed in a leather jacket and a large leather hat. He carries with him a bag called haddock for food and musical instruments such as pingullo and kaha (small drum). Taita's carnival represents abundance, and during his travels he brings good luck to the places he visits. Provided that it is taken with plenty of food and drink.
All Saints' Day
On Memorial Day, Ecuadorians visit the graves of their loved ones with offerings of pastries, continuing the Andean tradition of leaving food for the dead. These souls are said to return to Earth for 24 hours during the first days of November. An Ecuadorian tradition says that one can displease the spirits if there is no ready snack for them. This holiday is celebrated on November 1 and 2.
A traditional holiday that takes place in several Ecuadorian cities, mostly in the mountains. As an example, take the city of Cuenca, where this holiday is held 60 days after Easter. This Catholic holiday, which has a Spanish heritage, is a mixture of autochthonous elements. Such as gratitude to Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the god Inti for the harvest.
More than a hundred tents were set up around the park as part of the celebration in Cuenca. Where among the gastronomic variety you can find "corpus sweets". The custom of eating these sweets originated in the monasteries and homes of the nobility of Cuenca. Later it gained its distribution in the community.
Other picturesque elements that adorn this holiday. Are, folk dances, village bands, music that enliven every night during Corpus Christi. These are the seven days when Cuenca as a city is dressed in colors with fireworks and filled with people.
This festival has been held since 1557 and, together with Children's Day in December. It is the most famous and important religious holiday in this city. This tradition, inherited from the Spaniards, took root in Cuenca mainly due to the ardent faith of the Catholics of this city. Who faithfully acknowledged the body of Christ during the Eucharist. However, this celebration has reached the nuances of local traditions. Where it was customary to celebrate the end of winter and the continuation of the revival of vegetation during the summer solstice.
One of the brightest and most attractive holidays in the country.