Carnival of El Callao, a festive representation of a memory and cultural identity in Venezuela

Running from January to March, these festivities feature parades of people dressed as characters from history and fantasy, as well as calypso music, dancing, and concerts. Up to 3000 people take part in the Carnival of El Callao, associated with emancipation celebrations in French-speaking islands of the Caribbean. The carnival highlights the history of el Callao, reinforces its cultural identity, promotes unity, and encourages younger generations to discover their heritage.

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Punto: Music from Cuba

Punto is the poetry and music of Cuban farmers. Throughout history, this music has typically been practiced in the countryside. Punto is an essential part of Cuban culture. The music and lyrics promote dialogue and express the feelings and values of the farmers and, in general, Cuban communities and neighborhoods.

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Music and dances of the Yampara culture

The Pujllay and Ayarichi performances in Bolivia are very important to the Yampara culture and its connection to nature. In the rainy season, the Pujllay ritual celebrates abundance and fertility of Mother Nature. An altar is built in the yards of the houses and is covered with leaves, fruits, and food. On the other hand, the Ayarichi dance is celebrated in the dry season and is dedicated to Catholic saints.

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The traditional oxcart or carreta

In Costa Rica, the tradition of decorating oxcarts started in the early twentieth century. Nowadays, the carretas remain a strong symbol of Costa Rica’s rural past and history. Costa Ricans are proud of this traditional art: there are even creative carreta contests!

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April Fair

april_fair_thumbThe April Fair is one of Spain’s most international and popular fiestas. For a week every April, more than a thousand “casetas,” or tents, installed in the fairground area become the second home of the city’s inhabitants: a place where people come together to have fun, sing, and dance. Throughout the fair, people wear typical Andalusian dress: the men wear the typical outfit of the farmworker, and the women wear flamenco or gypsy dresses. By day, the fair is filled with horsewomen, riders, and richly festooned carriages.

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Activities:

  1. Would you like to visit the April Fair in Seville? Why?
  2. Are these festivities similar or different than the fairs in your town or city? How?

Does your country have a traditional dress, or do you know of any from your family’s culture? What does it look like?