This festivity has a special nuance, in which the natural is intermingled with the supernatural; the religious with the pagan; the earthly with the cosmic. Its origins in the villages of antiquity come from a mixture of festivities and rites in honor of the land, animals and plants. They were lovers of nature, which they considered a divinity. In this way, each town developed its own identity and way of expressing it.
The carnival, according to the beliefs of the ancient inhabitants of Loreto, is the time when the demons are loose, that is why the participants wear clothing of demons and mythological beings for these celebrations.
Since the twentieth century this practice is executed by filling balloons with water or buckets, chasing the villagers until they get wet; formerly they were made with eggs full of water. In Peru, men wet and paint women and vice versa, in games that also include paint, talcum powder, indigo, bitumen or even mud.
Some travelers defined the Loreto carnival as “a mixture of wildness and joy without limits”, where it is common to throw water from balconies or throw eggs full; paintings of different colors, etc.
In the carnival participate several groups of dances with floats representing different forms of animals, historical figures and demons of traditional legends.
There is also a beauty contest where the most beautiful Loretans participate to win the glorious crown of the carnival queen.
On the days of the festival, palm trees called “húmishas” are erected, which are decorated with gifts, garments and other ornaments. This palm tree is planted in the center of a square or specific area and the carnival celebration takes place around it, where all are mixed dancing typical dances, traditional meals and playing among all, there is none that does not end up full of paint, talc, mud or all together.
After hours in the central hour of the party, we proceed to cut the tree to “machete,” people dance in a circular way around the palm tree and take turns trying to knock down the palm tree. Once the palm tree falls, all run to the branches to take the different gifts that were placed.
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