Fiesta del Gran Poder, Bolivia, South America

This is a guest post written by Samuel from Nomadic Samuel

The magnificent Fiesta del Gran Poder is the biggest festival event in Bolivia, literally turning the normally industrious La Paz into party central.

The festival features paraders dressed in elaborate costumes parading across streets closed to traffic – with marching bands enthusiastically playing music from behind.

The atmosphere from the crowd is equally as festive with copious amounts of beer being consumed, bustling street vendors carrying snacks on their heads and clowns blowing bubbles to entertain children.

The merging of pre-Columbian religions and the Roman Catholic faith spawned the Fiesta del Gran Poder, which centers around the devotion to Christ as the 2nd person in the Holy Trinity.

The origins of this event can be traced back to the late 1930’s with a small number of dancers evolving into what is now a major international event attracting enormous crowds.

The following are 20 images that hopefully encapsulates a sense of the energy, excitement & passion of the event…

QUESTION…What are some of your favorite festivals you have attended around the world? Please share in the comments section below..

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Samuel Jeffery is the wizard behind the curtain pulling the strings of NomadicSamuel.com, a travel blog that is miles away from ordinary…dripping with sarcasm. As a long term vagabond (6 consecutive years on the road) Samuel is sharing his photos, videos & quirky travel stories, along with photography tips, interviews, esl tips, reviews and general travel advice as a way to vicariously experiences what it is like to backpack or to plan your own journey of a lifetime.

Currently based in South Korea, Samuel is teaching English with the government program EPIK (English Program in Korea) at an elementary school in Incheon saving up hard for his next around the world adventure.  Aside from NomadicSamuel.com, one can get in touch with Samuel by following him on his facebook fan page and/or on twitter.

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18 Comments on “Fiesta del Gran Poder, Bolivia, South America”

  1. Wonderful photos, Samuel! I particularly like the guy in the aviator shades!

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  2. Such vibrant photos!

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  3. Great photos Sam! I’ve been to the festival and it’s great fun!

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    • Thanks Brendan! I actually only attended this festival because I was sick for several days and I couldn’t leave La Paz. Sometimes what we consider unfortunate turns into a blessing in disguise. When were you there?

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  4. These pictures are amazing! It’s remarkable how elaborate these costumes are and how much detail gets put into them, the festival must be one not to miss if ever in South America!

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    • Thank you! I certainly agree with you – not a festival to be missed! I felt so lucky to have had the opportunity to attend because it was not planned at all.

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  5. Thanks Caz & Craig, for an opportunity to share this photo essay on your blog :)

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    • Our pleasure! your photos are definitely inspiring. I only wish we could take some half as good. Can’t wait to travel again so we can practice

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  6. Beautiful photos! What an incredible opportunity to have been at this amazing festival!

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    • Thanks Peggy! I was so lucky to have attended because I was only around in La Paz that day because I had been sick for several days :)

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  7. Samuel’s photos never fail to impress. Wish I had this talent. Colours are awesome too. The only festivals I seem to go to encourage mass amounts of beer drinking, could be why my photos are crap though!

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    • Cole, thanks for the kind compliment! As a self-taught photographer I can honestly say that anybody can learn if I can :) I was lucky enough to get in these shots when I did because I started drinking copious amounts of beers with locals on the street as the afternoon progressed.

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  8. Your photos are … alive. You are such a talent! So glad we’ve connected!!

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    • Abby, feel the same way about you and your blog! The travel blogging community is made up of such supportive and creative individuals.

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  9. Great collection of photos from an interesting festival!

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    • Thanks Cam, did you both get to go? I was really lucky to attend. Maybe the only time that I look back in hindsight and feel pleased that I had food poisoning the week before :P

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