January 2nd every year marks the beginning of the Carnaval de Blancos y Negros in Columbia. The carnival which runs until. January 7th, brings together people in the town of Pasto to celebrate diversity, engulfing the town in one giant party as natives and tourists clad in colourful garbs take to the streets in a festival frenzy that dates back to more than 100 years ago.
Inspired by the Andean and Hispanic traditions, the festival has now become a central part of the town’s existence. Officially, the event starts on December 28 with the water festival, which involves throwing water in homes and on the streets to initiate a festive mood. This gives way to the Old Year’s parade on December 31, where marchers carry satirical figures representing celebrities and current events and burning effigies to symbolise the burning of the passing year.
The annual festival, inspiring and exciting has over the years become one of Columbia’s tourism attractions, and hopefully to remain a big economic prospect.