18 de febrero de 2020
Hispanic World

Bolivia marks winter solstice with nationwide celebrations

Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, Jun 21 (efe-epa).- Bolivia on Friday marked the Southern Hemisphere winter solstice - and commemorated the beginning of Year 5527 on the Andean calendar - at this western archaeological site near Lake Titicaca and elsewhere in the Andean nation.

Tiahuanaco, Bolivia, Jun 21 (efe-epa).- Bolivia on Friday marked the Southern Hemisphere winter solstice - and commemorated the beginning of Year 5527 on the Andean calendar - at this western archaeological site near Lake Titicaca and elsewhere in the Andean nation.

The celebrations were held a day after the United Nations recognized June 21 as International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice.

In a speech, President Evo Morales, a member of the Aymara community who is Bolivia's first indigenous president, hailed the solstice resolution adopted the day before by the UN General Assembly.

The winter solstice, which marks the beginning of the lengthening of winter days, falls on June 21 in the Southern Hemisphere and marks the Aymara New Year, or Machaj Mara, as well as the beginning of a new agriculture year.

Morales noted that that text had been introduced jointly by Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia, who share an indigenous ancestral tradition.

Bolivia's winter solstice celebration, known as "Willka Kuti" (the return of the sun, in Aymara), was highlighted by a ceremony at the Tiahuanaco archaeological site, which is located 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of La Paz and has been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List since 2000.

Similar celebrations also were held at nearly 100 other sites in different Bolivian regions, including the inter-Andean valleys, the Amazon and the Chaco semi-arid plain.

The ceremonies began early Friday morning with musical performances featuring drums and wind instruments, native dances and rituals to honor Pachamama, or Mother Earth, performed by amautas (wise men) of the Andean religion.

A large "wajta," or table, with symbolic elements such as small figures representing prosperity and llama fetuses was prepared in honor of Pachamama and then set on fire.

The climax of the festivities came when hundreds of people gathered for the ceremony, including Morales, received the first rays of sunlight with the outstretched palms of their hands, an action that symbolizes the taking in of good energy at the start of a new Southern Hemisphere agricultural cycle.

The president was accompanied at the ceremony by his foreign minister, Diego Pary; culture minister, Wilma Alanoca; and the presidents of the Senate, Adriana Salvatierra, and lower house, Victor Borda.

The celebration also marked the transfer from Argentina to Bolivia of the leadership of the Secretariat Pro Tempore of the Qhapaq Ñan, the Quechua name for an ancient road system that reached its maximum expansion between the years 1450 and 1530 A.D., at the height of the Inca Empire's expansion.

Bolivia will hold that position until 2021.

Hundreds of people, mainly members of indigenous communities and tourists, had already gathered in Tiahuanaco on Thursday.

The Andean calendar adds an estimated 5,000 years of Andean history to the 527 years since Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492.

In 2009, Morales' administration dubbed the celebration "the Andean-Amazonian New Year" and decreed June 21 to be a national holiday. In 2017, Bolivian authorities brought the Chaco region into the sphere of the winter solstice celebrations.

During his 13 years as president, Morales has celebrated the Aymara New Year in Tiahuanaco, as well as at Fort Samaipata in the eastern region of Santa Cruz, the Uyuni Salt Flats in the southwestern province of Potosi and in his home town of Orinoca, in the western province of Oruro.

Histórico de noticias
Brazil's Carnival continues with marked feminist accent

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Brazil's nationwide Carnival celebration continued on Sunday with a marked feminist accent emphasized by a band that drew...

Dominican municipal elections suspended due to technical problems

Santo Domingo, Feb 16 (EFE).- The Dominican Republic's Central Election Board (JCE) on Sunday suspended the nationwide municipal elections after multiple...

Trump kicks off Daytona 500 in Florida, but rain delays the race

Miami, Feb 16 (efe-epa)- President Donald Trump kicked off the Daytona 500 under initially sunny skies at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on...

Samsung presents Galaxy Z Flip, first foldable smartphone

San Francisco, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- South Korean multinational Samsung on Tuesday presented its new foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip, this model with a...

U2's Bono, UN denounce educational disadvantage for girls around world

United Nations, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Singer Bono and the United Nations on Tuesday denounced the "dramatic disadvantage" in education being suffered by female...

Guaido beaten by mob upon landing in Caracas

Caracas, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized as Venezuela's legitimate interim president by more than 50 nations, on Tuesday was...

Fed's Powell warns of economic risks of coronavirus amid Trump's attacks

By Alfonso Fernandez

Final Iowa caucus recount gives Buttigieg delegate win

Washington, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- Almost a week after the Iowa caucuses, the Democratic Party announced Sunday that former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete...

Hundreds of wizards-for-a-day celebrate "Harry Potter" saga in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Feb 6 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of fans left their "muggle" (non-magical) life to one side on Thursday to attend "Harry Potter Book Night" in...

Weinstein defense calls its first witnesses

New York, Feb 6 (efe-epa).- The defense team of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who is on trial in New York for rape, on Thursday called its...

Trump holds White House celebration to revel in Senate acquittal

Washington, Feb 6 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Thursday organized a "celebration" at the White House to hail his acquittal in his impeachment trial...

Zona MACO art fair starts in Mexico with new plan to hike attendance

By Ines Amarelo

Trump acquitted in near party line Senate vote on impeachment charges

Washington, Feb 5 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump was acquitted on Wednesday in a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate on the two impeachment charges...

US threatens Reliance, Repsol, Chevron, Rosneft with sanctions over Venezuela

Washington, Feb 5 (efe-epa).- The United States on Wednesday threatened to impose sanctions on US petroleum firm Chevron, Spain's Repsol and India's...

US trade deficit declines for 1st time in 6 years amid trade tensions

By Alfonso Fernandez

Almost 1,000 police murdered in Mexico in the past 2 years

Mexico City, Feb 4 (efe-epa).- From 2018 up through January 2020, at least 953 police officers were murdered in Mexico, a reflection of the wave of violence...

Puerto Rico's Adriana Diaz among world's top 20 in ping pong

San Juan, Feb 4 (efe-epa).- In a sport where Asians reign supreme, for the first time in her short yet successful table tennis career Puerto Rico's Adriana...

Trump to address split Congress, Senate on verge of acquitting him at trial

By Lucia Leal

Iowa, between Biden's moderation and Bernie's revolution

By Beatriz Pascual Macias

Alphabet beats on earnings per share, misses on revenue

San Francisco, Feb 3 (efe-epa).- Internet giant Alphabet, the parent company of Google, released yearly and quarterly results on Monday, showing net profits...

Newton, Iowa: Between the pain of de-industrialization and the elections

By Beatriz Pascual Macias

Groundhog Day celebrations take place in US

Washington, Feb 2 (efe-epa).- Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous weather-predicting animal in the world, emerged from his burrow in the same-named town in...

Amazon shares skyrocket after earnings beat

By Marc Arcas

Innovative pay methods to be showcased at Super Bowl

Miami, Jan 30 (efe-epa).- Multinational technology giant Visa will have more than 800 contactless payment points in the stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida,...