Reuters reports [to watch the video, please use the link below]:
Tens of thousands attend traditional Carnival in Bolivia’s Oruro
Music and dancing filled the streets of the traditional mining town of Oruro, Bolivia on Saturday (February 25) to celebrate Carnival, which is dedicated to the patron saint Virgin of Socavon, whose 45-metre (150-foot) tall statue stands tall over the town. Wearing elaborate and colourful costumes, dancers whirled through the town that sits at a breath-taking 3,710 metres (12,171 feet) above sea level in an annual ceremony recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The colourful Oruro Carnival, or Anata, has its origins in the ancient festival of Ito celebrated by the indigenous Uru people who would travel to the town to celebrate the protective Waka gods.
Almost 130 communities are represented in the Carnival, each one of them with a unique dance and costume in honour of the Virgin of Socavon. Many of the dances commemorate parts of the legend while others lay tribute to the town’s diversity of communities, fusing indigenous, Spanish and African traditions. Lasting over 20 hours, the parade brings together 25,000 dancers and more than 100 bands organized in 52 fraternities.
They wind 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) through the hills of Pie de Gallo, along the city’s western edge, to end at the sanctuary of the Virgin of Socavon. The celebration, which dates back some two centuries, will run through Monday (February 27). Bolivian Tourism Ministry has said it expects the event to draw over 400,000 visitors, most from within the country, according to media reports.