Bolivia's Alasitas Fair shines with UNESCO list recognition

A priest sprinkles holy water over people's miniature items and fake money as he gives a blessing outside San Francisco Basilica during the annual Alasita fair in downtown La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Thousands people attended the opening day of the fair to buy tiny replicas of things they aspire to acquire during the year, like homes, cars, wealth and love. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Every year, thousands of Bolivians head to the two-week Alasitas festival to buy miniature cars, houses and toy dollar bills symbolizing their dreams of prosperity in one of South America's poorest countries

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Every year, thousands of Bolivians head to the two-week Alasitas festival to buy miniature cars, houses and toy dollar bills symbolizing their dreams of prosperity in one of South America's poorest countries.

But this year, they're not the only believers in the festival with roots in Aymara indigenous traditions.

Bolivia's first indigenous president celebrated Wednesday the recent recognition of the pre-Columbian tradition by the U.N.'s educational, scientific and cultural agency. The ritual journeys in La Paz during Alasitas were inscribed in December by UNESCO on its representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

"Now we have the opportunity for international organizations to recognize our livelihood and our heritage," President Evo Morales, a native Aymara, said at the opening of the fair that begins every Jan. 24.

The Aymara indigenous word "alasita" means "buy me."

Tiny items, from kitchen appliances to college diplomas, are taken home and placed around Ekeko, the god of abundance who the Aymara people believe will bless them with better lives in the coming year.

The hopeful also buy statues of Ekeko. He is often rendered as a short, pudgy, mustached man who wears traditional Andean clothes and carries baskets of grains.

"I asked for my college degree, and I got it. You need to come with faith," said Lucia Bustillos, a lawyer who attended the festival with her husband and purchased a house, cars and teensy wads of euros representing the couple's wishes for the new year.

Related News

Kanye West performs at New York Fashion Week party

Sep 10, 2016

Kanye West brought his "Saint Pablo Tour" to the small stage at a New York Fashion Week party, where he performed under smoky, dark lights, and ended his set with some outspoken words, per usual

Alexander Wang presents adidas Originals unisex line

Sep 11, 2016

Alexander Wang sent an army of 70 models onto the runway _ all in black _ to announce his new collaboration with adidas Originals, a unisex apparel and footwear line

Alexander Wang partners with adidas Originals on new line

Sep 11, 2016

Designer (and sneaker lover) Alexander Wang has partnered with adidas Originals on a new line of unisex apparel and footwear

Lookout Style, your personal trendy diary, keeping you in check with all things new for automobiles and content to assist your fashionable sense.

Contact us: sales@lookoutstyle.com

Automobile Design Automobile Shows Car Buying Beauty & Fashion Body Piercings Elective Cosmetic Procedures Children's Fashion Couture Fashion Accessories Fashion Magazines Fashion Shows Men's Fashion Personal Style Sustainable Fashion Women's Fashion Press Releases