Los Diablos Danzantes – The Feastival of Corpus Christi, Venezuelan Style!
One of the most significant traditions in Christianity is celebrated at the annual Los Diablos Danzantes Festival in Venezuela!
What is Los Diablos Danzantes?
The Los Diablos Danzantes Festival is entirely based around the ancient Venezuelan religious celebration of The Feast of Corpus Christi. The tale dates back to the time when Venezuela converted to christianity with the arrival of Catholicism to the country.
This significant time and biblical story inspires the creativity of an entire country— from theatrical productions, to incredible parades, amazing puppets , awesome music, and incredible dancers, the people of Venezuela really go all out to tell the Los Diablos Danzantes tale.
While this celebration hinges on one of the most sacred aspects of the Christian faith, the last supper, many that do attend this celebration do so to witness the beautiful tradition. Indeed, you do not have to be a Christian, or religious at all, to attend this wonderful celebration!
The Feast of Corpus Christi of San Francisco de Yare
The Feast of Corpus Christi as the sacrament of the body of Christ itself is taken throughout the world and celebrated at many different times of the year. However one of the most notable celebrations of this sacrament is Los Diablos Danzantes and takes place in San Francisco de Yare, Venezuela. Every year during June, thousands flock to Venezuela to witness the drama and celebration of this Feast of Corpus Christi.
The celebration that takes place in San Francisco de Yare and features thousands of participants dressed as bright colored devils. The devils are there to represent the evil in the world and lead the processional during the festival. Towards the end of the events, when the Feast of Corpus Christi is held, the devils final act is a good one- taking the sacrament of the body of Christ.
Welcome to San Francisco de Yare
The best Los Diablos Danzantes celebration does indeed take place in San Francisco de Yare, Venezuela. This part of the country is rather easy to get to by plane if you are traveling into Venezuela.
Whether you decide to try for a more traditional look or not, avoid wearing tribal headresses or anything like it. Many tribes find it offensive. Keep in mind as you trek to and through Venezuela, that you should have a variety of outfits. It’s a good idea to bring heavy duty attire to prevent mosquitoes and other insects from attacking. Do bring waterproof shoes or rain boots to keep your feet protected throughout your journey. Do bring a pair of classy shoes with you in case you go out to a restaurant or club after the festivities.
First Timers at Los Diablos Danzantes
So it’s your first visit to Venezuela for the annual celebration of Los Diablos Danzantes festival? You’re in store for a great time learning about art, history and Venetian traditions.
Before arriving into Venezuela, you’re going to want to prepare a little for your trip. Have the areas you want to visit already planned out so you can have a general schedule to follow throughout your trip. A lot of people like to participate in the parade and dress up in their own costumes. If you would like to, do a little research and find or develop an outfit to wear.
When you arrive for the event, give yourself some time to rest before heading out for Los Diablos Danzantes festivities! When heading out on the town, try to find a group to stay with in case you get lost or just want to make some new friends.
The Dancing Devils or Diablos Danzantes
It is important to realize that the Dancing Devils of Los Diablos Danzantes are merely a way to draw attention to and show the power of Christ. while in many cultures and traditions, people may take offense to the representations of devils, in this Venezuelan celebration, the act of the devils taking the sacrament is the ultimate representation in the triumph of good over evil.
Kids often dress up in devil costume and it is more of a beautiful mockery of evil rather than an embodiment of it.
The true religious beliefs in this Los Diablos Danzantes celebration are in the saving power of Christ and the remembrance of the last supper with the Feast of Corpus Christi. So don’t be afraid to have fun and get down with the dancing devils!
Dressing for the Feast of Corpus Christi
The best and most decorated Feast of Corpus Christi is Los Diablos Danzantes! Since Venezuela goes all out for its annual celebration, you should too. The first step is to take a look at photos of past Los Diablos Danzantes to get a feel for what everyone else will be wearing.
Feel free to go all out when dressing for Los Diablos Danzantes. Wear costumes in honor of the festival, the parades, and the rich Venezuelan culture everyone is celebrating. Whether you decide to try for a more traditional look or not, use your creativity! Many people will be dressed to the nines, and will put great care into their outfits. You should do the same.
Keep in mind as you trek to and through Venezuela, you need to have a variety of outfits. It’s a good idea to bring different costumes for different parts of the day. When it comes to shoes, you will want to be comfortable as you will be doing a lot of walking. However, if they are visible under your costume, take care to make sure they are presentable and that they go with your outfit. Bring outfits that aren’t costumes as well, in case you want to go out later in the evenings.
Getting to the Festival
Depending on where you’re coming from, there are several places to find cheaper flights to Venezuela. As soon as you decide that you’d like to head to Venezuela to celebrate Los Diablos Danzantes, grab your plane tickets as early as possible!
Grabbing a flight into Venezuela isn’t really that difficult. Next, when booking accommodations in the city, check out local hotels, boats, and houses that are up for rent. Whatever you do, book in advance! If you’re staying all ten days, you’ll find it easiest to grab a nearby hotel. Staying at a place that is in walking distance of all the main celebrations is a great idea.
You’ll be traveling through the festivities on foot a lot, so if you are staying in the middle of it all, you’ll be in the best position for traveling. Search online for the cheapest rates and try to find rooms that have traditional architecture so you can learn even more during your stay.
If you plan to stay at Los Diablos Danzantes for just one or a few days, maybe consider booking a hotel in on of the major areas near the city so you can prepare to see other areas in the surrounding cities before you have to leave the country.
Tips for Los Diablos Danzantes
When you’re heading to Los Diablos Danzantes be prepared. You may need to get travel shots before you leave if you are flying in from a different country so definitely make arrangements for that. Be sure as well to have your passport renewed months in advance as the process does take a while. Be sure to get some helpful advice and tips from a travel agent that knows a thing or two about this festival.
Along with preparing your paperwork for travel, try to exchange some of your currency as well so you will be prepared incase you need to hail a cab, go shopping, or eat at any of the local restaurants. The most important thing you can bring along with you is an open mind that is ready for new experiences!
Health and Safety
A lot of Los Diablos Danzantes hinges on tradition and if you are unfamiliar with it, its best to learn and understand before diving in head first.When it comes to safety at Los Diablos Danzantes, don’t travel alone. Always have a buddy with you, as you would at any other festival. If the language barrier may prove to be a problem, consider learning key words in Spanish before heading out to Venezuela. If anything, trying to know basic phrases like “Where is the bathroom?” will make your trip a bit easier on everyone.
Through a few days of dancing, walking, and incredible travel, you may forget to take care of your basic bodily needs. Remembering to stay hydrated is incredibly important, so set reminders on your phone if you have to. Try to take vitamins with you as well so you can keep up your stamina and immune system to keep the party going all weekend long.
So if this is your first trip to Venezuela or your fifteenth, it’s never to late for a trip to Los Diablos Danzantes!
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