Blacks and Whites Carnival Pasto

Parade Carnival Blacks and Whotes PastoThe Carnaval de Negros y Blancos, or The Carnival of Blacks and Whites, is one of Colombia’s most famous festivals, and one of the country’s biggest. Thousands of tourists from all around the world come to celebrate the festival, as well as a huge amount of Colombians.

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The Carnaval de Negros y Blancos’ origins date way back to the times of the Agrarian Indian cultures of the región, who held celebrations top pay tribute to their Moon Goddess. This was thought to help protect their crops and, thus, their livelihood.It is celebrated every year between the dates of January 4th and January 6th in the city of Pasto, located in the southwestern region of Colombia in the Andes mountain range. Pasto has, historically, been a meeting point for people of various colonies, races and backgrounds, making it a melting pot of culture.

As time progressed other aspects were added to the Carnaval; namely the influence of Spanish carnivals and the introduction of elements of African feasts. With this variety of influence, the festival essentially changed, becoming what we know today as the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos.

Today, as with many Colombian festivals, music plays a huge part in the festivities, as does food, artisans and dancing. Huge floats are constructed and paraded through the streets to celebrate the rich history of the area, and the coming together of different cultures.

On 20th September 2009 the Carnaval de Negros y Blancos was announced as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

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Carnival Negros y Blancos PastoThe days of the festival follow separate themes, and are as follows:

Day 1, January 4th: The Castañeda Family Parade
This is a celebration of an old legend. In 1928 a Pasto family invited the Castadeña Family to the feasts, a very special family of the time. These days people dress up in early 20th century attire to evoke the period.

Day 2, January 5th: El Día de los Negros
People mark themselves with black face paint on their clothes, faces and arms. Orchestras play in the street, and the idea is that all social classes and races are celebrated.

Day 3, January 6th: El Día de los Blancos
On this day people throw white talcum poder at each other. There is a float parade of huge figures, and the day is intended as a celebration of the local culture.

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=> TIP: The festival is officially only 3 days, but the town is in party mode all week. For the full experience you should arrive on December 28th for Fool’s Day, and stay until the 7th of January. That’s a whole lot of partying!

http://carnavaldepasto.org

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