La Tirana Festival, the most important religious celebration in the country, a party full of brightness, color and joy, in the middle of the desert.

Beautiful skirts dance in circles, devils with colored chunks jump in unison and the sequins move to the sound of drums, trumpets, and accordions. This is ​​La Tirana​, the most popular religious event in Chile. A colorful party in the middle of the desert attended by 250,000 people to honor the Virgen del Carmen.

During a week, devotees and tourists take the small town of La Tirana, to celebrate with beautiful dances and spectacular costumes. The comparsas are prepared throughout the year to be part of what has become a unique show in the world.

But La Tirana Festival is more than pilgrimage, devotion and joy. This celebration is also an important instance of cultural encounter for the indigenous Andean peoples.
In the village, located 72 kilometers from ​Iquique in the  ​Pampa del Tamarugal is one of the most eccentric churches in Chile, both for its architectural design and the history behind it.

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Right there where the church was built, Ñusta Huillac died, the daughter of the last priest of the extinct cult of the sun. The young woman, known as the beautiful Tirana of Tamarugal, was attacked by her own people, when she was being baptized by the Spaniard she had fallen madly in love with.

The party is held between July 12th  and 16th. If you are interested in a GoChile tourism program to attend, click here

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