Punta Arenas Winter Carnival

Magallanes dresses itself in colour, music and joy during July. The Winter Carnival is a tradition that gathers thousands of people.

Rodolfo Soto | Flickr
Rodolfo Soto | Flickr

Like every year during the month of July, the Municipality of Punta Arenas carries out this party with activities that take place before and after the main event. The Carnival fulfills the purpose of creating spaces for different exponents of the traditional culture of the Magallanes Region, spaces where they can meet and share in a spirit of celebration and community.

Among the main events of the carnival we have the competition of allegorical carts, that each year summons different associations and groups that create the most original decorations for these carriages, usually based on a theme provided by the event organizers. During this version the theme is completely free, but it is a requirement that the design must include a distinctive aspect of the region, such as the weather, its fauna or winter activities.

The carts that are part of this traditional carnival are usually accompanied by the comparsas, groups of 20 people that go together with the cart throughout its journey and are dressed according to the theme. There is another group of people in charge of lifting the spirit of the carnival, called murgas. Groups of 25 people that choose an specific theme and perform during the parade. Finally, and bringing the rhythm and the music, several batucadas travel through the streets while hitting their drums.

To finish this celebration, a firework show will occur at the chores of the Strait of Magellan, the perfect activity for bringing the Patagonian families together.

Beside the main event, during the days before the carnival several events are carried out. One of them is the Strait of Magellan Dip, this activity has increasedits popularity each year, and thousand of inhabitants and visitors of the region dip into the cold waters of the strait. Another important activity of the carnival is the election of its queen, who has to participate in all the activities of the main event.

In order to increase the participation of the community, several activities are carried out during and after the main event, some of them are:

Indigenous Fair: An exhibition that takes place every year with the purpose of spreading the art and culture of the indigenous communities of the country, specifically of the Magallanes Region. An opportunity to spread their handcrafts, which are a reflection of its values and believes.

Iceman triathlon: The first edition of this event seeks to defy its participants through three different events. First they have to swim 500 meters through the cold waters of the Strait of Magellan, followed by a 15 kilometers bike race until they reach the Club Andino Ski Center, where they will be equipped with snowshoes in order to travel a distance of 6 kilometers through the snow. A unique and extreme event, the southernmost triathlon of the world.

Night Run: This will be the fourth time that this event will be carried out, inviting people and families to be part of this special run. Due to the fact that aims to attract families, the distances will go from 2 and a half kilometers, to 10 kilometers, allowing everyone to be part of this event.

This post is also available in Spanish