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One of the characters of the "Diablada Pillareña" in Ecuador. Photo by Diego Paredes for Millenio.
One of the many characters of the Diablada Pillareña in Ecuador. Photo: Diego Paredes/Milenio.

The Diablada Pillareña is subject to COVID-19 restrictions in Ecuador.

The Diablada Pillareña is a traditional Ecuadorian festival celebrating the beginning of the new year. The uptick in COVID-19 cases has the celebration under…

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At the beginning of every year in the central Andes of Ecuador, the “Diablada Pillareña” is celebrated as a blast of dance and colors. With features similar to the Carnival of Oruro in Bolivia, the Diablada Pillareña has been ruled "Intangible Heritage" of Ecuador since 2009 and is a tradition that highlights the cultural syncretism and "resistance" to colonialism by the native peoples of the Andes.

The celebration normally takes place from Jan. 1 to 6 each year. However, for the second consecutive year, the dancers decided not to hold the traditional celebration to avoid the spread of COVID-19. According to Francisco Yanchatipán, mayor of Píllaro, in an interview to EFE, although this year's will be a restricted celebration, he was positive about resuming the tradition next year.

 "...we aspire to have the participation in person, as in previous years". 

At the beginning of 2021, the “Diablada” took place virtually with a dance featuring about 30 people. The registration was disseminated through the social networks of the Municipality of Píllaro. For this year, the City Council decided to suspend the celebration as a necessary measure in view of the explosion of COVID-19. 

The festival is an activity "that generates many resources for the whole canton (municipality), for the entire population," and it attracts many tourists. Even so, the decision taken by the municipality is based on collective care. In one of the neighborhoods, some neighbors dressed up on Tuesday, Jan. 4 as some of the characters of the Diablada. 

However, not all residents are willing to postpone their traditions. An attempt to hold a clandestine party of the Diablada Pillareña, was intervened and canceled by the authorities on Monday, Jan. 3. Its controlled operation will continue until Jan. 6, 2022. 

 

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