29 September 2009

Buy a virgin in Bolivia

When I was in Bolivia I went to Cochabamba to go to the Urkupiña festival in nearby Quillocollo.

[Below] Urkupiña is the Fiesta de la Virgen ("Festival of the Virgin"). The main days of the festival were between the 15-17th August. On the first day the elaborate doll of the virgin is on display; on the second day it is marched through the streets to its place on the hill of Quillocollo. On the third day everybody goes to the hill to pay their respects to the virgin and then try to chip a chunk of rock from the solid hillside with a mallet, for good luck.

[Below] "Take my photo with the virgin!"

[Below] Buy a virgin.

[Below] These photos are from the first day of the festival. All day people in wild, colorful costumes march and dance in procession down the street.

[Below] This photo was accomplished with a zoom lens. Don't worry, I wasn't actually this close.

[Below right] There was A LOT of drinking involved. So in combination with the extremely hot weather there were many drunk people. Actually, all the newspapers cited this as one of the big problems with the festival.

[Below] The Michael Jackson tribute dancers?

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  1. Sammy Russell22:15

    Hello to my best pal,

    Just to let you know: that zoom lens you ordered has just arrived. You know -- the zoom lens you ordered? The zoom lens you ordered because you don't have a zoom lens? Just to let you know. Shall I send it on to you? Otherwise, you'll be without a zoom lens -- meaning you'll have to get really, really close to take pictures that look like they're taken with a zoom lens. You know? I'm just saying. Just kidding. But seriously.


  2. The girls in your photos looked ready for the mother of all fetes with their disco party boots and matching short skirts ... didn't quite fit my mental image of a "festival of the virgin" ... but then in that respect the hard liquor came as kind of a surprise too. Perhaps both are symbolic of the festivities that ensue after deciding to leave perpetual virginity to the saints.

  3. Sam - hahaha, you're funny. :) Please send me my "zoom lense" forthwith to the follow address:
    7 Yorapilot Street
    Ecuador 5318008 ;)

    Andy - haha, perpetual virginity indeed. :) Yeah, their dress and drinking really surprised me too. But you know, there were 2 types of dancers: the more traditionally dressed and those dressed in super short skirts. I asked some locals about this and they said that the latter are mostly girls from privileged backgrounds who are westernized and therefore have no problem showing off a bit of leg.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Your pictures were incredible (as usual), although the one with the mask with electric-blue eyes kind of freaked me out.

    So, just out of curiosity, how much does a virgin go for these days?

    *I deleted the other post because I hate spelling mistakes* lol

  6. Thanks Katie. :)
    Regretfully I didn't ask. :(
    But it's Bolivia... everything is cheap! :)

  7. Their believes are interesting. It festival is incredible.
    meet and greet Manchester
    Manchester airport parking deals

  8. This is definitely very misleading. I cant believe they actually do what the title says.
    Tickets Depot 24/7


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