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La Tirana

La Tirana, Chile


La Tirana is a small town in the northern Tarapaca Region, near the city of Iquique. But its annual festival, Fiesta de la Tirana, has acquired an importance that spreads far beyond the itself. It has become Chile’s most celebrated festival, visited by both local pilgrims and tourists.  On June 12 to 17 each year, dancers and musicians enact the diablada, the 'dance of the devils', a carnavalesque dance for exorcising demons. The dance troupe, wearing fearsome costumes and masks, move to the rhythm of drums and flutes, with the leader of the troupe setting the pace with toots on a whistle. The festival demonstrates a synthesis between local indigenous religions and Catholicism, also paying homage to the Virgen del Carmen, or 'Our Lady of Mount Carmel'. Descendants of the Atacameño, Kunza, Aymara and other indigenous peoples arrive at the Virgin's sanctuary in processions, making promises in exchange for blessings. Masses are said in the church while in the surrounding area there are stalls with handicrafts and food, and dancing throughout the day.
Fiesta de la Tirana is an annual festival held in the locality of La Tirana in Tarapacá Region of northern Chile. The celebration takes place on July 16 in honor of Virgen del Carmen. La Tirana is the biggest geographically localized religious festivity in Chile and attracts between 200,000 and 250,000 visitors during the week of celebrations, while the villages population is normally of 560 inhabitants

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