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The Candlemas Festival

The Candlemas Festival

Every February 2, in San Pedro de Atacama we celebrate the ‘Candlemas Festival’. The origin of this festival dates back to 1778, the year in which the muleteer Mariano Caro Inca found the image of the Virgin of Candelaria in the mountain range, near the Maricunga salt flat. This discovery attracted the attention of the pilgrims, who with the help of the parish priest built a sanctuary in the year 1800. Over the years, the Festival of La Candelaria, patron saint of miners, has become a popular and religious reference for the Atacama region, where different activities and typical dances stand out.

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The festival lasts around 3 days, where several groups from the region dance the osada, the diablada, the morenada, the tinku and the tobas.

Each dance dazzles with its costumes, stories, staging and music, which excite the entire Atacama community, and the tourists who travel to absorb each cultural and symbolic experience that this destination offers. After going around the town several times, they end at the Church of San Pedro, just 10 meters from our hotel. It was an honor to see them pass by from our home in Terrantai and we thank them for keeping Atacama traditions alive.

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