The festival of the Santísima Trinidad del Señor Jesús del Gran Poder in the city of La Paz
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Inscribed in 2019 (14.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
The festival of the Santísima Trinidad del Señor Jesús del Gran Poder takes place on the Day of the Holy Trinity in the city of La Paz. The celebration transforms and stimulates the social life of La Paz every year, emanating from a particular way of understanding and living Andean Catholicism. The Parade begins with a procession through the western part of the city. This procession is central to the event, involving 40,000 devotees who dance and sing in an offering to the patron saint. The dance has a sacred significance for the sixty-nine fraternities involved, which are greeted in the streets in a euphoric atmosphere where the music of 7,000 musicians resonates. The heavy dances begin with the Morenos, the iconic dance of the festival, mixed with light dances; meanwhile, the Sikuris and Qhantus native dances hark back to the origins of the Ch’ijini festival. The next day, the procession members solemnly carry the patron saint on their shoulders in the Gran Poder district; devotees pay tribute to the image with incense, flowers and confetti. The fraternities prepare their musical repertoires throughout the year; embroiderers and jewellers transmit their knowledge within the families of the Gran Poder, and the devotional aspect of the practice is transmitted through devotional ceremonies, evenings and processions.