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Pujllay Festival, Tarabuco

Pujllay Festival, Tarabuco

Each year in March, the usually sleepy town of Tarabuco comes alive when people from all over the surrounding countryside arrive to partake in the colourful Pujllay festival.

Pujllay (‘play’ or ‘dance’ in Quechua) is held to commemorate the March 12, 1816 Battle of Cumbate, an event in which the people of Tarabuco liberated their town from Spanish forces. Along with celebrating Independence, the festival is also dedicated to memorializing those who have died and to expressing gratitude to the Andean deity Pachamama (Mother Earth). This important Bolivian festival is attended by government officials including the president himself, and plays an integral part in preserving the Quechua -Yampara traditions.