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Argentina's ‘Carnival of the Country’ Kicks Off With Drums and Dances

Categories: Latin America, Argentina, Arts & Culture, Citizen Media, Photography

[All links lead to Spanish-language pages unless otherwise noted.]

Argentina's most popular Carnival festivities – nicknamed “the Carnival of the Country” – are underway in the city of Gualeguaychú [1] in the province of Entre Rios, just 230 kilometers from the capital Buenos Aires.

In Notas de un Viaje Particular [2], Cheryl shared [3] her experience: 

…al ritmo de tambores, alegría y colores se llevo acabo el ultimo fin de semana del “Carnaval del País”, el mas importante de Argentina en Gualeguaychu, Entre Ríos. Es una fiesta contagiosa, que sorprende con sus impresionantes carros alegóricos, cuerpos esculturales y sonrisas interminables, la gente no para de bailar y festejar… 

…To the rhythm of drums, joy and colors the “Carnival of the Country” has started, the most important in Argentina, celebrated in Gualeguzychú, Entre Ríos. It is a contagious party, which surprises everyone with its impressive carriages, sculptural bodies and infinite smiles, people don't stop dancing and celebrating…

Carnival was banned [4] [en] during the dictatorship in Argentina, but in cities with a long tradition of the festive season, it never really stopped. Year after year, Gualeguaychú [1] surprises with its Carnival festivities held in a corsódromo, a venue used for Carnival parades which replaces the use of the streets [5].

Thousands of tourists are streaming in to participate in this year's edition, which kicked off on January 4, 2014. Events are held on all Saturdays until the first days of March.

The blog El Vestidito Negro [6] published [7] photos of Carnival in 2012:

Imagen del blog El Vestidito Negro bajo licencia (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Image from blog El Vestidito Negro republished under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Imagen del blog El Vestidito Negro bajo licencia (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Image from blog El Vestidito Negro republished under a  Creative Commons license (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Revolución Media [8] shared a video about what this year's Carnival has to offer:

Also, Gabo por el mundo [9] posted a selection of images [10] and shared advice on how to get to Gualeguaychú and where to stay.  

On her photography blog, Amelia McGoldrick [11] publishes a series of images, not only of Carnival but also of her days as a tourist in the city [12].

However, Carnival also triggers complaints from neighbors due to the chaos caused by the attendees. El Dia OnLine [13] explained: 

Las calles fueron el centro de diversión y de libre albedrío de alrededor de 90 mil personas que coparon la ciudad. Literalmente no cabía un alma más y sin embargo seguían entrando más y más vehículos.

Pero cuando decimos libre albedrío no lo hacemos por el solo hecho de utilizar un término que puede sonar fuerte, sino que fue la sensación que tuvieron muchos vecinos que prefirieron casi encerrarse en sus casas o, aquellos que tenían un poco más de suerte, mudarse momentáneamente de los barrios turísticos para estar más tranquilos en otros puntos de la ciudad.

The streets were the center of the entertainment and freewill of about 90,000 people who took over the city. You could literally not fit one more soul, but still people and cars kept coming in.

But when we say freewill we don't say it for the mere fact of using a term that may sound strong, but rather because it was the feeling among many neighbors who preferred to stay locked inside their houses, or those who are a bit luckier and moved away from the touristic neighborhoods momentarily so they can enjoy peace and quiet in other parts of the city .

But the party has started and the “comparsas [14]“conga bands are prepared with drums, dances and glamour, and tourists are set to enjoy one more year of the “Carnival of the Country”.

YouTube Video [15] by 3KTodoNoticias [16]