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COPACABANA, BOLIVIA- FEBRUARY 2010-Virgen de la Candelaria. Brightly decorated cars waiting to be blessed outside a cathedral for Ch'alla in Copacabana. The Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria is held to honour the Virgen or the Dark Virgin of the Lake (Lake Titicaca, high in the Andes near the town of Copacabana where the festival is held.) who performed a series of miracles.

Pilgrims gather to pray and celebrate by the lake, however the serious religious atmosphere of the event is overshadowed by the parties and barbeques held to mark the occasion. People drink and dance in the streets of this normally small fishing village and shamans perform devil dances and tell fortunes while priests consecrate new cars and other blessed objects, brought from all over Bolivia, with beer. People were colourful costumes and there are parades, music and a buoyant atmosphere.


(Photo by Lisa Wiltse/Getty Images)

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Lisa Wiltse
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Bolivia | La Virgen de la Candelaria (Copacabana)
COPACABANA, BOLIVIA- FEBRUARY 2010-Virgen de la Candelaria. Brightly decorated cars waiting to be blessed outside a cathedral for Ch'alla in Copacabana. The Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria is held to honour the Virgen or the Dark Virgin of the Lake (Lake Titicaca, high in the Andes near the town of Copacabana where the festival is held.) who performed a series of miracles.<br />
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Pilgrims gather to pray and celebrate by the lake, however the serious religious atmosphere of the event is overshadowed by the parties and barbeques held to mark the occasion. People drink and dance in the streets of this normally small fishing village and shamans perform devil dances and tell fortunes while priests consecrate new cars and other blessed objects, brought from all over Bolivia, with beer. People were colourful costumes and there are parades, music and a buoyant atmosphere. <br />
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(Photo by Lisa Wiltse/Getty Images)