|Carnival Week is a fun-filled festival just before
Lent in mid February or early March. Stores close for almost a week and
celebrations include masked dancing, comical skits, water fights and practical
jokes. Murga bands (steel bands) roam the streets. Candombe
is a popular dance at Carnival. It is a dance of African origins that dates
from the days when Blacks worked as slaves in the Río de la Plata
area. Bands of up to fifty musicians and dancers called Candomberos
take part in Carnival processions. The musicians play tamboril drums
of various sizes, producing complex rhythms for the dancers.
|Most Uruguayans have a one-week holiday at Easter.
The week before Easter is known as La Semana Criolla (Rodeo Week)
in Montevideo. During this week, gauchos give performances of stunt
riding and horse breaking. The Landing of the Treinta y Tres Orientales
is celebrated on April 19. It commemorates the day in 1825 when Juan Antonio
Lavalleja and 33 volunteers (the Treinta y Tres) marched into Uruguay
from northern Argentina and began a rebellion against the Portuguese. On
May 18, Uruguayans commemorate the Battle of Las Piedras, when José
Gervasio Artigas defeated the Spanish near Montevideo in 1811.
Did you know?
of music and dancing are held throughout the year in different towns and
cities. Montevideo hosts a Candombe festival in May and a tango
festival called Joventango in October.
|Día de la Raza, or "Day of the Race"
is celebrated on October 12, the day that Christopher Columbus landed in
America. It is called "Day of the Race" because it marks the beginning
of a new race of people living in South America.
the 33 Orientales
de la Raza; Discovery of America
|Day of the