Monday, July 21, 2008


Saturday and Sunday are the best days to make the well known ritual called “CH´ALLA” in Copacabana. All the cars that arrive to Copacabana to be part of this ritual are parked on the main square of Copacabana. The owner of the car, buys bunches of fresh flowers to adorn it. Flowers should be very colourful because that gives good luck. The objective of taking there a car is to receive the good energy of that place and to assure good luck with this new acquisition.

Before the arrival of the invaders in 1542 in Copacabana there was this sacred place where people used to go and make rituals in order to ask to the pachamama (mother land) all kind of favors, especially for good luck and prosperity. As the invaders wanted to make dissapear any kind of ancient belief from indigenous peoples, they built a catholic church on the sacred place. But, as it was in the mind of people their ancient beliefs they have continued going to this place to ask for good luck. This belief is very strong and that´s why now not only indigenous people but also what we call mestizos or whites go there to ask for favors to this sacred place.

Some catholic people, buy a catholic image and puts it in the car. Other times they make sprinkle the car with water. There are also yatiris (wise indigenous men) that makes a fire ritual for the car. Other times, the owner of a car, takes it to the border of the lake and make it sprinkle with water but also makes a ritual to mother land, thanking for his new car and asking for luck and prosperity for him and for his car.

A lot of people go to Copacabana to make this ritual, especially people from the different cities of Bolivia and Perú.

Picture one. A car ornamented with fresh flowers.
Picture two. One of the places where one can buy flowers and any kind of ornaments for the cars.

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