The tradition of the Holy Innocents is followed with dances, tricks and cultural manifestations in various regions of Venezuela. Although it is a date that represents one of the worst massacres of innocent children in Christianity, cultures have transformed it into allegorical representations with a teaching.
Lara, with her Los Zaragoza dance; La Guaira, with its women’s government in Naiguatá; Monagas with its folkloric expression of the Baile del Mono de Caicara, and Falcón with its Locos and Locainas represent traditions that reveal the identity of their peoples.
The Dance of Los Zaragoza
The Baile de Los Zaragoza is synonymous with religion and culture in the town of Sanare, Lara state, where every December 28 they make the 10.4 km journey starting at the San Isidro Church to the Santa Ana temple.
It began as an indigenous tradition of agricultural worship or jojoto festival that became a ritual of the Christian faith. It is more than 200 years old, but popular tradition made it a day of crazy and crazy acts.
The celebration brings together opposite symbols: a devotional attitude, represented in the mass, and the fulfillment of promises according to the norms of the Church, together with popular rites of prayers and songs before a painting that shows that cruel massacre recounted in the New Testament.
The government of women
The party of the “Government of Women”, in Naiguatá, La Guaira, is a demonstration that has been held since the 70s.
It is a parody in which women form their own government and dress as men. Some resemble the “revolution” and others represent the “government.” They take Naiguatá or power in the town, to vindicate the matriarchy in the middle of a great party.
“The women and their parrandas, which begin on the 27th at night, tour Pueblo Arriba and Pueblo Abajo and the proclamation against men is present,” said Evelyn Rodríguez, a resident of Naiguatá. She said that the cultural manifestation seeks to be the heritage of La Guaira and the country.
The women name a Board that will govern Naiguatá for 24 hours and according to the “commander in chief” Mayra Domínguez, who has organized the tradition for 20 years, the parody shows discontent with certain actions.
The Monkey Dance
To the rhythm of the cuatro, bandolina, drums, maracas and native instruments such as the Ciriaco, reed whistles, bull horns, among others; own and visitors shout at the top of their lungs Monooo! in the town’s Monódromo and that’s where the party begins.
This tradition represents joy and family love and has been carried out for more than 100 years. Jacinto Guevara, cultural promoter and member of the El Centro party, explained that the Mono de Caicara is a collective dance, that does not require choreography and that anyone who wants can join. It is believed that its origin is from a typical celebration of the Chaimas, Parias, Cumanagotos and Kariñas ancestral communities.
The Monkey is personified by Miguel Figuera (El Mono Mayor); The Mayordoma is the one who imposes order and respect.
crazy and crazy
The Fiesta de los Locos de La Vela has more than a hundred years of tradition. It is a cultural manifestation that aspires to be Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.
The house of Doña Margarita de Díaz, the “Queen of the Fools”, will be the starting point of the journey that the Mojiganga and her donkey make together with the people of Veleño through all the streets.