Fiesta de la Cruz on Lago Titicaca


There are many festivals in Bolivia that vary depending on where you are in Bolivia. If you're in a city, the celebration may be a lot larger and louder, whereas in a rural community it could be community or family-focused and much smaller.

What tradition did I learn about?:

I learned about Fiesta de la Cruz, which is a celebration largely of the Cross. We tied flowers to sticks to make beautiful crosses in order to hold them in the procession, which is like a parade. First, many people go to the church to listen to mass. After mass is over, everyone floods outside and communities get together in groups. Next people march in the procession with their community. After that, each community shares an apthapi, which is an offering where everyone brings food to share. Everyone also walks around and gives each other fresh bread, which people carry in a big bags.

Why does the community have this tradition?:

Many celebrations in Bolivia developed from ancient traditions that were observed before the Spanish came. With colonization, the Spanish would rename celebrations as a festival for a saint. Apparently, these communities on Lago Titicaca celebrate the Fiesta de la Cruz to begin welcoming the winter (we're under the equator, so the seasons are switched!).