Fiesta San Miguel
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Fiesta San Miguel

When: To be confirm
Where: Uncia, Bolivia

Bolivia is distinguished for its fiesta loving spirit. The Fiesta San Miguel is a Latin American festival held in the small town of Uncia in the Potosi district of Bolivia to commemorate the town’s patron Saint. It is a sensational festival known for its colourful parades, beer & ice cream, and the infamous Tinku dances!

The fiesta signifies a mixture of religion and folklore and celebrates the success of San Miguel's safeguard over Uncia in the form of breathing fire at any evil spirit attempting to attack the town.

Tinku Dances

The main attractions of Fiesta San Miguel are the Tinku dances, which are not only a dance but also an unusual combat style, representing the battle between good and evil. Tinku is an ancient fighting ritual which begins with fighters dressed as Conquistadors, swinging their arms wildly to punch, and a referee in place to oversee any chaos.

The combats have often been known to result in violence, injuries, and a couple of deaths. However, death through Tinku dance can be interpreted as the sign of a good harvest and an honourable act, according to local Indians. As a result, the more blood spilled the richer and exceptionally good the harvest will be. The ritual continues at local celebrations and other occasions in honour of Mother Earth in accordance with ancient beliefs within the Indian culture.

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