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EventsLa Paz

Alasitas fair & The Ekeko - peace

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Alasitas fair – La Paz

Alasitas fair is a tradition of the city of La Paz. It dates back to ancient Aymara traditions which after the colony became a religious practices, responding to that usual syncretism that characterizes the rites and customs of Latin America. In fact, initially the pre-Columbian God Ekeko's Party was naked, but the Spaniards dressed clothes of the mestizos.

Alasitas, which in Aymara means "buy me", It is a fair in which originally indigenous exchanged miniatures, agricultural products, circular stones of colors or with any particularity. The Exchange was practiced with joy and the hope to have, during the year, the products purchased. The celebration was the 20 October but in 1781 Sebastián Segurola, established that the Alasita fair is the 24 January to celebrate the end of the siege of the indigenous to the city of La Paz, which lasted many months causing shortage of food in the city, in this way the Alasitas (Festival of abundance) It meant the end of such extended period of hunger and need.

Alasita is a great feast of desires and aspirations. Tradition States that one buys a miniature of what more needed you in the year enrolled. It is necessary to attend the fair at noon and a yatiri (sorcerer and healer) ch ’ alla (bless you) the same, In addition the Alasita attendees pass by the nearest church or your preference to bless the thumbnails that have bought. It would also run if thumbnails are given to one for that, by magic, come true.

Billetitos nearly exact replicas of Bolivians, Dollars and Euros, issued by the "Central Bank of fortune or Alasitas" imaginary, everything money; cans, bags of flour, sugar, rice, and all kinds of food products, to supply home; luggage, with or without papers, passports, visas and air tickets for travel; cock or hen crafts, to get a boyfriend or girlfriend; building materials, machinery and equipment, to finish the House; toy cars, taxis, fleets (buses), trucks and vans, to have a vehicle, titles, postgraduate courses and masters, to achieve an academic profession; In addition to vital records (lying) where one can be married, divorce or get his death certificate, property titles, Houses of 2 or three floors or complete buildings, to augur a good purchase and plenty of interesting thumbnails capture the attention of the population.

Every year on that date take newspapers in circulation the “Alasitas newspapers” sizes tiny as satire and mockery taking as news and star to the Ekeko and scoff at jocular manner of politicians and people “important” or known media and entertainment. The Ekeko is give them their miniatures so comply the orders wishes, and also give you a cigarette smoking every Monday and some alcool.

You can also find typical dishes of the fair including: the "La Paz dish" (corn, beans, potatoes and cheese), the kebab and other Creole dishes. Cookies of all flavors, sweetened apples, the infinite variety of dishes from a variety of popular games such as the football or darts, West of Bolivia and air rifles to ensure a non-stop fun.

Alasitas fair is one of the many traditions of the city of La Paz, and has extended by many other cities of the country and abroad. Is by the candor of the fair, the work of artisans and faith in these rites, who has managed to be a fundamental part of our society and one of the typical cultural expressions of this magical country.


The Ekeko, or Iqiqu in Aymara language, is an Andean God, represented by a small statue, resulting from the syncretic transformation of the pre-Columbian God of wealth, fertility and joy, in the Tiwanaku civilization.

Legend has it that in 1781, the young Isidro Choquehuanca offered a small God statue to his girlfriend Paulita, When she went to work where its masters Doña Josefa Úrsula Foronda Rojas and Don Sebastián de Segurola in the city of La Paz. Don Sebastian was then Governor and Commander of arms of the city of La Paz.

Shortly after his arrival to La Paz, the city was encircled by an indigenous movement of 40.000 men, recruited by Tupac Katari, to revolt against the Spanish Crown. For several months, the city could not supply and food and water were scarce. Paulita, However, He did not suffer because her boyfriend had been recruited in the army of Túpac Katari and passed lines of defence secret, to bring food to his beloved.

Paulita, pained to see their teachers who do not have enough to eat, He decided to bring his food without jeopardizing Isidro. She chose to show the statue of the God of abundance of Tiahuanaco to their teachers, whom, sunken in anxiety and distress, they accepted this explanation without complaining. They thanked humbly this small Andean God who, at that time, It was presented naked, with a disproportionate erection penis (Since it was the God of wealth, joy and also of fertility).

After several months of siege, the Spanish army arrived in La Paz and the city was liberated. The terrible famine that had suffered the rest of the population had not affected the Sergeant and his wife. Governor Don Sebastián de Segurola wanted to pay tribute to the small pre-Columbian God who had saved them. Like this, the fair was held until then the 20 October of each year (date of the Foundation of the city of La Paz), He moved to the 24 January. During this fair, they sold or exchanged Ekekos. The Governor, without any explanation, gave his word of honour, indicating that these figures would bring luck to their owners.

However, the Spaniards decided to change the appearance of the Ekeko, wearing it and removing its lush penis.

Thereafter, the release of the city allowed a recovery of indigenous traditions through this optimistic superstition, which spread among all its inhabitants. Without intending it, Don Sebastián Segurola launched a decree that stood out in colonial and Republican. Since then, the tradition has been deeply rooted in the popular field and the fair still exists today, every year in January. Currently, the Ekeko is a small God who is offered cigarettes and alcohol (a huequito in your mouth is planned so you can quit) and small objects that represent the desires that they ask the God perform them. For example, If you want to go travel, a miniature airplane or a passport is offered,during the fair.

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