Barranquilla breathes carnival. From the moment you set foot in this Colombian city on the Caribbean coast, everything is music, color and flavor. There are no undecorated walls with some picturesque touch, there is no corner without music and there is no person who crosses the street with a smile on their face or a touch of color in their hair or clothing.
When walking through the city, you can see striking facades of houses and hotels, decorated with vinyl, fabrics, paintings, masks of characteristic characters of the festivities, such as King Momo, the marimondas, the Congo, the morisqueteros and many more.
“It is a complete city experiencing a carnival. This means that the place where you are going to sleep, whether it is a family home or a hotel belonging to a prominent international chain, will have the atmosphere, the flavor, the sounds, the heat of the carnival. This makes it so different Barranquilla Carnival to the rest of the carnivals in the world”, affirmed Sandra Gómez Carvajal, manager of the Carnival, to the voice of america.
The city literally comes to a standstill. The Barranquillero surrenders at the foot of the festivity. The banks close, children and adults dress up, the streets are blocked, the hotels -where even the menus have names of dances and carnival characters- are full and the street vendors take the opportunity to make the biggest sale of the year.
This is the case of Alexandra Coronado, who told the VOA that his liquor sales venture “has done very well” and that “sales have moved a lot.”
“Carnivals help the city’s economy a lot,” he added.
It is one of the most important festivals in Colombia and not only because of its great display, since in the entire city almost 24 hours a day there are cultural events, festivals, exhibitions and merriment, but also because it was declared by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity 20 years ago. years. The Colombian Congress recognized Carnival in 2001 as Cultural Heritage of the Nation.
This city definitely lives up to its motto “who lives it is who enjoys it”. As Luz Barraza from Barranquilla says, “Carnival for Barranquillas is culture, the most important party in the world. Our culture lives here. The Caribbean Coast is characterized by joy, fantasy, dance, and fun” .
He also tells that at home they meet with family and friends, prepare native dishes, drink liquor. “People are very warm, they are very loving and the only thing they will find here is love and fun.”
Barranquilla residents and visitors walk in groups in their carnival combo, which is generally characterized by wearing a shirt with the same motif or pattern. The women also wear large earrings in bright colors, neon, with figures alluding to the characters of the event or with the colors of the Barranquilla flag, or wigs and colored flowers.
Patricia Duarte dressed the same with her family and friends. “Since the Wednesday we arrived, everything is a party, it’s joy, it’s color, it’s life. It’s something I’ve never experienced and just being here gives me joy. It’s a totally welcoming, cool city.”
The party can be enjoyed without restriction. Some buy boxes to comfortably see the floats and artistic groups from the platforms. Others decide to accommodate themselves in improvised steps or cheaper chairs. But the Barranquillero, in reality, throws a party in every corner.
They also visit tourists, like the American Mckenzie Imhoff, who came to Barranquilla to enjoy the carnivals, because they had told her that “it is the fault of Colombia.”
In various parts of the city there are concerts, orchestras, litanies, games or house parties where all who pass through the place are welcome.
It is common to see millo musical groups, a typical coastal rhythm of traditional folk music, delighting tourists.
The inevitable speakers remember the typical music of the carnival, such as the puyas, the cumbia, or songs typical of the place that allude to the party, such as ‘Viva el Carnaval’, ‘La Guacherna’, ‘La puya loca’, among others, in addition to songs by Colombian artists such as Joe Arroyo and ‘Checo Acosta’.
Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our channel Youtube and activate notifications, or follow us on social networks: Facebook, Twitter and instagram the Voice of America.
Source: VOA Español