Carnival of Blacks and Whites 2012
Carnaval Colombia found in Pasto, Nariño and beginning January 4 – 6, every year is considered the single most significant event in Colombia for the cultural expression of different races. The Blacks and Whites Carnival will be an unforgettable experience for all that attend...year after year.
The Carnaval Colombia is actuall composed of four stages beginning in December.
The party begins on December 28 with the Día del Agua (day of the water). On this day, people of all ages go out on the street to “get wet”. Remember this day, anything goes: Be on the look out for people with containers filled with water, water-filled baloons, hoses, and even the fire hydrants. What makes this such a special day because the only purpose is to get soaked! Pre-carnival carries over on December 30 with the famous serenade to Pasto. Having the best string trios of the Andean region playing.
This event has children between the ages of six and fourteen show their creativity and the cultural heritage of the region.
A gathering featuring a parade for the prelude to the actual carnival that takes place on January 4. It derives from the legend from 1928. Supposably a group of Pasto inhabitants invited a special family, later called the Castañeda Family, to the feasts. To commemorate the arrival of this family, a large group of people dress up in early twentieth century attire and parade in an attempt to take spectators back to the beginning of the century. This is the first day in which face paint is used. Get ready because this is the excuse for a huge party on the city streets!
Taking place on January 5, people are willing to have “pinticas” (small marks) of black face paint drawn on their clothes, face, arms, and any uncovered part of the body. Stages are set up for orchestras to play for people of all races and social classes.
On January 6, the rules of the game change. Instead of black or color marks, people throw white talcum powder at each other. The festivity begins with another float parade, this time with huge figures made by artisans, which makes this a fascinating, joyous display of culture.
The festival’s official website is outdated & at posting time no link for 2012. Click the link above to see Carnaval Colombia last year.
This important and traditional Carnaval Colombia is held annualy in the city of Pasto, Nariño. It is one of the most ancient carnivals in the Americas. It calls upon & remembers a day in which the African slaves had a free day when they unleashed all their happiness.
Some historians have noted in 1607, there was a slave rebellion in the town of Remedios, Antioquia that made the authorities panic. This single event was remembered by the black population of Popayán, Cauca, who as well demanded a day off, so they could be free. The King of Spain finally did conceded on January 5. Stories are told of when the news reached home the African population flocked to the streets and danced to the rhythm of African music. In a frenzie they started to blacken with coal all the white walls of the city.
This enthusiastic celebration was introduced to Pasto by the Ayerbe family somewhere around 1854. By 1887, the celebration had reached to certain social spheres and acquired a high level of refinement. The people attending started using costumes and masks. The Castaneda family recreated on January 4 could very well be a characterization of the Ayerbe Family.