Flag Day – Carrying Argentina’s Longest Flag

A big holiday in Argentina is Flag Day, when citizens carry Argentina's largest flag through the streets.

When you don’t plan much on your travels, you can stumble upon big surprises. Argentinians carrying the country’s longest flag through the streets of Rosario was one of them.

It turns out that Argentina has an official Flag Day!

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5 Popular Religious Festivals in Bolivia

Bolivian Celebration: the Aymara New Year and sprinkling offerings in the fire

During our 9-year journey in South America, we visited Bolivia six times. In total we spent about a year in this diverse country.

Here we will talk about some of our favorites festivals in Bolivia.

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Check out These Spectacular Traditional Dances in Bolivia

A white masque that is worn as part of La Diablada Dance in Bolivia

Many Bolivian festivals are a form of religious celebration, expressing a syncretism of paganism and Catholicism. Folkloric dances and music each have their unique costumes, musical instruments, and rhythms, and the celebrations may last for days on end, often from early morning to late at night.

Here are a couple of the famous dances in Bolivia that are part of such celebrations.

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Celebrations and Holidays in Argentina

We thought Rosario was one of Argentina’s most ordinary cities in the country. However, Rosario turns out to honor the celebration of a unique holiday in Argentina, making it a special city indeed. One morning we went for a walk and noticed lots of people were gathering along the sides of the streets. Some parts were fenced off, others weren’t.

It was Flag Dag!

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Watch the Highest Polo Tournament in the World (Pakistan)

Starting from behind the goal line, holding the ball and mallet in one hand and perfectly restraining his horse with the other, the horseman slowly moves forward. When he approaches the center of the field, he spurs his horse to maximum speed, tosses the ball into the air, hits just before it reaches the ground and launches it deep into defensive territory.

Here, scrimmage and chaos reign.

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Watching the Urkupiña Festival in Bolivia

According to the most popular story, a young shepherd girl daily herded her sheep on a stony hill, where the Virgin Mary appeared to her several times. At one time she indicated the Virgin to her parents, shouting, “Orkopiña” – “There, on that hill”, as the Virgin was ascending towards heaven. On the summit they found a stone image of the Virgin, which since then has been kept in the church in Quillacollo.

Visiting these sites is part of the 3-day Urkupiña Festival.

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Joining a Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath Cave (India)

Amarnath pilgrimage ends at the Amarnath Cave, ring bells to make your presence known!

The goal of our Hindu pilgrimage is almost in sight: an ice stalagmite. A holy stalagmite. I flop down on an ice-cold stone and vigorously rub my feet that have turned blue and lost all feeling after I climbed stone steps without number in subzero temperatures.

Barefoot, that is.

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Celebrating the Aymara New Year in La Paz, Bolivia

Two Aymara shamans are building a bonfire and laying out offerings for good health and fortune: a dried lama fetus and sugar tablets depicting a house, moneybags and other symbols of wealth and health. Dressed in bright-colored ponchos and woolen headdresses, the amautas walk about in a circle formed by devotees and a couple of foreigners. They interrupt their preparations by calling onto Pachamama (mother earth) and Pachakama (the universe) to bless the New Year.

All is part of the Aymara New Year celebration.

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Celebrating Corpus Christi in Brazil (São João del Rei)

Girls dressed up as pink, white and blue angels, choirboys in purple outfits, women wrapped in red shawls, men dressed in white carrying lanterns, candles or a staff. All have their role and place in the annual procession.

Welcome to the celebration of Corpus Christi!

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Día del Mar – Bolivia Commemorates the War of the Pacific

One of Bolivia’s important days of commemoration is Día del Mar. During this ‘Day of the Sea,’ the country remembers the War of the Pacific in 1879, during which Bolivia lost its access to the Pacific Ocean. In La Paz the occasion includes a daylong parade of military units, government departments and youth bands.

It’s a parade worth watching.

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