Sucre, Bolivia- Since I arrived in Sucre the sound of marching bands has filled the city. Everyday it’s been drums, trumpets and a host of other brass instruments filling the air as each school prepares for Bolivia’s Independence Day – 25th of May. While the capital of Bolivia has moved to La Paz, Sucre still [...]
Since I arrived in Sucre the sound of marching bands has filled the city. Everyday it’s been drums, trumpets and a host of other brass instruments filling the air as each school prepares for Bolivia’s Independence Day – 25th of May. While the capital of Bolivia has moved to La Paz, Sucre still hosts the celebrations as it’s the traditional capital of the country.
If there is one thing about holidays that I’ve learned in Latin America is that if a day is worth celebrating it’s worth celebrating for a week. Keeping in this tradition Bolivia’s Independence day starts several days before the 25th and celebrations finally peter out a couple days later. The predominant activity for Independence Day being parades. Not just one or two parades but six or seven. One parade in the morning, afternoon and evening for two straight days. The parades had me a bit baffled. Why not just one big parade? They all consisted of the same thing – Children and teenagers from each school walking down the street with the school’s marching band playing behind them. No floats. No crazy helium inflated cartoon characters. Just school kids and random members of city organizations. All of it was presided over by the president of the country and proud parents smiling and snapping photos of their child as they passed. After five minutes I got the general jist of things and moved on.
|From Sucre 2011-05 – Street Concert for Bolivia Independence Day
What I enjoyed most during the celebrations were the free concerts. Those I could get into. Especially the massive street concert that took place the night before Independence Day. Since no one works on Independence Day the night to celebrate is always the night before. An entire city piled itself onto one large street to listen to music, drink, eat and be merry. I wasn’t able to get very close to the stage but found it unnecessary. When an entire population hovers around five feet I can usually get a birds eye view of pretty much anything I want and the stage was no exception. At 4:00 am I found my back home to get four hours of sleep before heading off to four hours of Spanish lessons at 8:30 am followed by a day full of sleeping. Other than class I spent the rest of the actual Independence Day sleeping off the previous night.
Photos of Sucre: