Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Alasitas - The festival of abundance

One day towards the end of January lots of new stalls suddenly appeared throughout the city each selling an array of goods, from houses to cars, to passports, money and food, all in miniature sizes. The idea being that people by the miniature versions of what they hope to be blessed with through out the up and coming year.

The origin of these celebrations dates back to the time of the Incas and was originally celebrated in September, just prior to harvest time and was a celebration of the abundance of the fields. Following their conquest of the nation the Spanish for some reason decided to change the date to January. As a response to this the indigenous people then decided to turn the celebration into a mockery of its former significance, and introduced the tradition as it is recognized today with Ekeko - the little God of abundance who is covered with all the miniature versions of all the things desired by the person who owns the statue.

On this day, Alana’s kinder made the most of the availability of the miniature goods and the children spent the morning practicing their skills in buying and selling with the miniature money and each was sent home with a selection of goodies. Alana was very excited with her ‘purchases’.

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