On March 12, 1816, Tarabuco was the site of the Battle of Jumbati, in which villagers, led by doña Juana Azurduy de Padilla, ambushed a battalion of Spanish soldiers, liberating the town in the process. In commemoration of the event, Tarabuco stages this celebration on the third Sunday in March; more than 60 surrounding communities attend in local costume.
The celebration begins with a Quechua mass and procession followed by the Pukara ceremony, a Bolivian version of Thanksgiving. Folk dancers and musicians perform throughout the two-day weekend fiesta. It’s one of Bolivia’s largest festivals and is great fun – just don’t think too long on the fate of those Spaniards. Only the Spanish drummer boy survived and the hearts of the others were eaten in an act of ritual revenge.