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Alasita – is the Bolivian festival of abundance

The traditional Bolivian festival «Alasita» is characterised by an original mixture of pre-Hispanic and catholic rituals. Crowds of people pack the narrow streets of La Paz to meet Ekeko - god of abundance in the ancient Andean civilization. Everything is sold during this festival,... but in miniature, as an expression of dream about material flourishing of the overwhelming majority of the Bolivians.

Starting from approximately the midday the townsmen feverishly begin buying up “mini-models” of houses, the newest brands of vehicles, computers, mobile phones, suitcases full of “greenbacks”, university diplomas, air tickets to the Caribbean islands and many - many other things. All this luxury can easily be accommodated on two palms, but who knows, who knows if they can be lucky afterwards!?

Beginning of the traditional fair “Alasita” is preceded by ancient ceremonies, that are performed at the dawn time by aymara sorcerers, who go very well with the “white man” civilisation. It is essential – to render homage to the Mother Land – Pachamama and ask her for blessings and support. But with the same zeal, on completion of the festival, the “candidates to millionaires” ask for mercy form catholic saints – first of all from the Virgin, Patroness of La Paz, they ask for their dreams to implement into reality, so that the house should become a real one, so that the engine of their new car sang a merry song, so that the modern electrical appliances should joyfully shine in the kitchen.

And still, judging by the behaviour of those present at this festival, the most hopes are pinned on the promising Ekeko, exotic god, the birth of which is related to half-forgotten pages of pre-Hispanic culture Tiwanaku.

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