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Pujllay Festival, Bolivia

Pujllay Festival, Bolivia

The Pujllay Festival of Tarabuco, in the state of Chuquisaca, Bolivia, is timed according to the agricultural seasons. In the Quechua language, “pujllay” means to “play or dance” and also means “happiness”. This festival takes place every year on the third Sunday in March, toward the end of the rainy season, when the harvest is plentiful. It also coincides with Bolivia’s Carnaval season which typically takes place two or three weeks earlier.

During the Pujllay ceremony, local inhabitants erect an immense wooden tower called the “pukara”. They completely cover and surround the tower from the ground up to the top with fruit, bread, “rosquetes” (a baked sweet), and other agricultural products as an offering to the Pachamama (Mother Earth), to the fertility of the earth, and in memory of deceased loved ones.