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Published: January 24th 2017
Today I'm celebrating the Bolivian Fiera de la Alasitas! (Alasitas fair).
For the next month, people from all over Bolivia will travel to La Paz to buy and offer miniature versions of their desires to Ekeko, the Aymara god of abundance. The Alasitas, miniatures of everyday items, money, etc. are blessed by an Andean priest with bells and smoke given to statues of the god along with a lit cigarette, in a festival that predates the Incas (12th - 16th century). Nowadays it is a mix of spiritual and consumerist practices in which people will spend hundreds of dollars in the hope that Ekeko will grant their wish.
According to lapazlife.com Typical miniatures include 'houses, cars, electrical goods, clothing, food, computers, airline tickets and even university degrees'*.
The fair was originally celebrated in September to ensure good crops for the year, but after the Spanish conquest, the January date of the siege of La Paz (1781) is used instead.
Ekeko is the god of abundance and prosperity. Ekeko is depicted as a man wearing traditional Andean clothing (usually including a poncho) and carrying bags of grain and food, and objects, money and any other things that people
NB: Could not find Andean priest.
want. He almost always has a mustache. The statue is placed in a comfortable part of the house and a cigarette is placed in its open mouth.
I bought some small things that I hope for in the coming year. A globe (there weren't any miniature passports and suitcases to denote travel... maybe I just want the world!) Some Andean writing paper, mini notecards and seal, and some mustache Christmas tree decorations (January sales 😊
I'm not sure what the greeting would be during this festival.... so I will just wish everyone luck in the coming year!
Tomorrow Burn's Night!
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