July 15, 2009

La Tirana

It's Tirana time in northern Chile... and oh, what a time it is. "La Tirana" is actually the name of a local village where a large religious festival takes place each year in celebration of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The big draw is that tons (as in hundreds) of dance groups come into this tiny little town, complete with ornate costumes, and dance in honor of the Virgin for ten days (NON-stop). It's controversial, even among Catholics, due to the non-Christian beginnings of the festival, its commercialization and the confusion between honoring and worshiping saints. Both sides have some really valid points, but we personally lean more towards loving it. It's a lot of fun, the dancing and the colors are enlivening and peoples' faith in God seems to grow and flourish throughout the festivities. Some images from last year:

Sadly, the festival was officially cancelled this year due to the swine flu, but a much smaller version is taking place throughout Iquique and Alto Hospicio. Our parish has the privilege of hosting all of Alto Hospicio in the mini-festivities. So, we'll get up pictures and commentaries later on this week.

No comments: